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Smoking is one of the worst things kids or adults can do to their bodies. Despite what the glamorous people in ads and on billboards say, smoking gives you bad breath, makes you cough, and uses lots of your allowance every week. Goes on to say that cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of cancer.

:: Smoking cost calculator

There are many reasons to quit smoking. The financial cost is just one.
Learn how much you spend on cigarettes. It might just be the reason you decide to quit.
Quitting smoking not only "greatly reduces serious risks to your health" but it also can greatly increase your disposable income.

Tobacco

Tobacco is a plant that can be smoked in cigarettes, pipes, or cigars. It's the same plant that's found in smokeless tobacco, known as dip, chew, snuff, spit, or chewing tobacco. Smokeless tobacco is not lit and inhaled like cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Instead, smokeless tobacco is placed between the lip and gum and is sucked on inside the mouth.
Tobacco contains nicotine, a chemical that produces a tingly or pleasurable feeling but only for a short time. Also, nicotine is addictive. This means that if you start to use nicotine, your body and mind will become so used to it that you'll need to have it. Anyone who starts smoking is at high risk of becoming addicted to nicotine. In fact, nicotine is said to be even more addictive than heroin or cocaine.

Nicotine

Nicotine is a poisonous drug! Dozens of poisonous chemicals in tobacco cause lots of diseases and illnesses, like heart problems and some kinds of cancer. Some of these diseases take years to happen, but others can affect you right away. For example, kids who smoke are much more likely to get infections such as colds and pneumonia.

Nicotine is addictive. Most smokers use tobacco regularly because they are addicted to nicotine. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use, even in the face of negative health consequences, and tobacco use certainly fits the description.

Nicotine can act as both a stimulant and a sedative. Most cigarettes in the market today
contain 2-10 milligrams (mg) or more of nicotine. Through inhaling smoke, the average
smoker takes in 1 to 2 mg nicotine per cigarette. There have been substantial increases
in the sale and consumption of smokeless tobacco products also, and more recently, in
cigar sales.

Nicotine is one of more than 4,000 chemicals found in the smoke from tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, is the primary component in tobacco that acts on the brain. Smokeless tobacco products such as snuff and chewing tobacco also contain many toxins as well as high levels of nicotine. Nicotine, recognized as one of the most frequently used addictive drugs, is a naturally occurring colourless liquid that turns brown when burned and acquires the smell of tobacco when exposed to air.

:: Nicotine dependence calculator



How Nicotine acts

Nicotine can act as both a stimulant and a sedative. Immediately after exposure to nicotine, there is a "kick" caused in part by the drug's stimulation of the adrenal glands and resulting discharge of epinephrine (adrenaline). The rush of adrenaline stimulates the body and causes a sudden release of glucose as well as an increase in blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate. Nicotine also suppresses insulin output from the pancreas, which means that smokers are always slightly hyperglycaemic (high blood sugar). In addition, nicotine indirectly causes a release of dopamine in the brain regions that control pleasure and motivation. This reaction is similar to that seen with other drugs of abuse-such as cocaine and heroin- and it is thought to underlie the pleasurable sensations experienced by many smokers. In contrast, nicotine can also exert a sedative effect, depending on the level of the smoker's nervous system arousal and the dose of nicotine taken.

Most cigarettes in the market today contain 2-10 milligrams (mg) or more of nicotine. Through inhaling smoke, the average smoker takes in 1 to 2 mg nicotine per cigarette. There have been substantial increases in the sale and consumption of smokeless tobacco products also, and more recently, in cigar sales.
Nicotine is absorbed through the skin and mucosal lining of the mouth and nose or by inhalation in the lungs. Depending on how tobacco is taken, nicotine can reach peak levels in the bloodstream and brain rapidly. Cigarette smoking, for example, results in rapid distribution of nicotine throughout the body, reaching the brain within 10 seconds of inhalation. Cigar and pipe smokers, on the other hand, typically do not inhale the smoke, so nicotine is absorbed more slowly through the mucosal membranes of their mouths. Nicotine from smokeless tobacco also is absorbed through the mucosal membranes.

Risks and consequences from long term smoking

The medical consequences of nicotine exposure result from effects of both the nicotine itself and how it is taken. The most deleterious effects of nicotine addiction are the result of tobacco use, which accounts for one-third of all cancers. Foremost among the cancers caused by tobacco is lung cancer-the number one cancer killer of both men and women. Cigarette smoking has been linked to about 90 percent of all lung cancer cases.

Smokers have an increased risk of developing:
respiratory infections such as pneumonia and chronic bronchitis;
emphysema (a progressive and potentially fatal lung disease);
Acute exacerbations of Asthma
heart attack and coronary disease;
cancer of the lung, throat, mouth, oesophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, stomach;
stomach ulcers;
Peripheral vascular disease due to decreased blood flow to the legs.
Overall rates of death from cancer are twice as high among smokers than non smokers.

A chronic smoker who is dependent on cigarettes may find that they experience withdrawal symptoms when they cut down or stop smoking cigarettes. These can include:
increased nervousness and tension;
agitation;
loss of concentration;
changes to sleep patterns;
headaches;
coughs; and
cravings.


In addition to lung cancer, smoking also causes lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and it has been found to exacerbate asthma symptoms in adults and children. Smoking is also associated with cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, cervix, kidney, ureter, and bladder. The overall rates of death from cancer are twice as high among smokers as among nonsmokers, with heavy smokers having rates that are four times greater than those of nonsmokers. Cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of cancer in the United States.



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