Smoking and Health

I have to write a paper, and my head begins to ache even before starting the first line. Without thinking, I reach to my right and grab my pack of cigarettes. I don’t even have to look for it because I always keep it near my desk. I know this is a bad habit, but I have gotten so used to it that it now is a very natural part of my daily life, especially when I have to deal with a lot of stress. As I light up my cigarette, I do not worry about what it is doing to my body. I am not worried because I am more concerned with my paper. As I smoke away and write my paper, however, I begin to cough. I put my cigarette out and clear the smoke, but a bitter taste remains in my mouth. This continues for several hours until I finish the paper. I check my empty cigarette box and tell myself that I would have to quit. It is only then that I think seriously about what I am doing to my body. My smoking poses serious threat to my physical and psychological health.

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Cigarette smoking leads to serious physical harms. Most are aware that smoking is bad for one’s health, but many are unaware that smoking harms just about every organ in a human body. Because smoking involves taking in dangerous chemicals into one’s body, it can lead to a series of respiratory problems such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis (“Smoking”). It also negatively affects the circulatory and cardiovascular systems. Because smoking interferes with proper blood flow to the arms and legs, it can even prevent smokers from enjoying simple, daily activities such as walking (“How Can Smoking”). When one continues to smoke for years, one can develop cancers in various parts of the body ranging from bladder and esophagus to liver and lung (“Health Effects”). Many of these cancers, when not detected in their early stages, can lead to death. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is about one in five deaths” (“Health Effects”). Many smoking-related deaths are due to cancer, especially in the lung. These clearly show how smoking causes physical harms to one’s body.

Furthermore, smoking threatens one’s psychological health. One such threat is in the form of addiction. As one becomes addicted to smoking, one becomes restless, anxious, and even enraged when one does not smoke. Smoking sometimes becomes the only means by which one can calm down.  It is not difficult to see nervous and irritated smokers at public places where smoking is prohibited. This puts unnecessary stress on smokers because many of them are fully aware of how irritable they can sometimes become. They naturally become dependent on smoking, and this dependency can be extremely stressful. Because of this, smokers may even have difficulty maintaining healthy relationship with others. They often have to be careful when they are with nonsmokers. They may even be discouraged from being with nonsmokers because they have to constantly worry about how their smoking may negatively affect their relationships with nonsmokers. This again puts extra emotional stress on smokers who would not have to worry if they did not smoke.

Smoking is a dangerous habit because it causes serious harms to smokers’ physical and mental health. Physically, smoking can lead to an incredibly diverse illnesses and diseases ranging from minor headaches to cancers in different parts of the body. Some may not be serious, but some can be life threatening. Smoking also harms smokers’ psychological health because of its addictive nature. Smokers become easily irritated and enraged when they are prevented from smoking. They have to smoke in order for them to relax and find peace of mind. Smokers also face difficulty with maintaining healthy relationships with others. Because they have to constantly worry about smoking in front of others, they feel extra emotional burden. This dependency and emotional burden in turn negatively affects smokers’ psychological health. All these clearly show that smoking is very harmful. Smoking is a personal choice, and no one can force others to make personal choices. However, smokers should at least be aware of the harms that smoking does to their body and mind. This will have to be the first step that any smoker, including myself, must take in order to quit smoking.


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