Although many people smoke because they believe cigarettes calm their nerves,
smoking releases epinephrine, a hormone which creates physiological stress in the smoker, rather than
relaxation. The use of tobacco is addictive.
Most users develop tolerance for nicotine and need
greater amounts to produce a desired effect.
Smokers become physically and psychologically dependent and will suffer withdrawal symptoms including:
changes in body temperature, heart rate, digestion, muscle tone, and appetite. Psychological symptoms
include: irritability, anxiety, sleep disturbances, nervousness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and cravings
for tobacco that can last days, weeks, months, years, or an entire lifetime.
Risks associated with smoking cigarettes:
- diminished or extinguished sense of smell and taste
- frequent colds
- smoker's cough
- gastric ulcers
- chronic bronchitis
- increase in heart rate and blood pressure
- premature and more abundant face wrinkles
- heart disease
- cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, lungs, pancreas, cervix, uterus, and bladder
Cigarette smoking is perhaps the most devastating preventable cause of disease and premature death.
Smoking is particularly dangerous for teens because their bodies are still developing and changing and
the 4,000 chemicals (including 200 known poisons) in cigarette smoke can adversely affect this process.
Cigarettes are highly addictive. One-third of young people who are just "experimenting" end up being
addicted by the time they are 20.