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One of the leading causes of death in the world is cancer. Cancer of the lungs has been the most common type since 1985 (Parkin, et al 2005). By 2002 lung cancer accounted for 17.6% of cancer deaths worldwide with 49.9% of this deaths happening in third world countries. In 2000 it was calculated that 85% of lung cancer among men and 45% among women was a result of tobacco smoking. Other lethal types of cancer include: cancer of the stomach, bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer and oral cancer all of which have tobacco smoking as one of their main causes (Parkin, et al 2005).
Cigarettes are made up of a number of components. These components include nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and tobacco (Harris, 2005). Some of these chemicals are highly addictive and have a number of side effects such as killing of the cilia which cleans air during inhalation. The chemicals from the cigarettes get in the blood system, from where they go to the heart, the heart pumps them to any of the other body parts where they can cause harmful side effects. Nicotine which is one the components of a cigarette is highly addictive and makes it had for smokers to quit smoking even if they wanted to (Harris, 2005).
A lot of what a smoker inhales from a cigarette turns to tar, around 30% of this tar is exhaled (Bryant, 2017). A research carried out in 2004 found that around 1.0% of worldwide mortality was contributed to by exposure to second hand cigarette smoke. 47% of this was women, 28% children and 26% were men (Oberg et al, 2011). It is therefore possible for a non- smoker to get affected by the exhaled cigarette smoke especially if they are exposed to the smoke for a very long time that is why most of those affected by the second hand smoke are house wives of smokers ( Hirayama,2017)
On the other hand, most cigarette companies put a cautionary message in their packaging of the cigarettes. For example almost all cigarette packets made by British American Tobacco Kenya have the warning message ‘Tobacco use causes cancer’. Therefore, anyone smoking the cigarette already knows that it is harmful to their health and could lead to them or those around them getting cancer. As such the cigarette company has done its part of informing the receipts of the consequences of smoking and should not be held accountable for those who still choose to smoke.
In conclusion, cigarettes are made of very harmful and addictive ingredients which highly contribute to a number of different types of cancers. Cigarette smoking affects both the smoker and the non-smokers around him/her. Therefore the cigarette companies should be compelled to fund cancer related researches most especially looking for cures, vaccines and other prevention measures in such a way reducing the rate of mortality attributed smoking.
Barnoya, J., & Glantz, S. A. (2005). Circulation. Cardiovascular Effects of Second hand Smoke, 111, 2684-2698.
Harris, J.E. (2005). Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No 7. Cigarette Smoke Components: Cigarette Smoke Is More Than a Triad of Tar, Nicotine, and Carbon Monoxide .
Himaya, T. (2017). Bulletin of World Health Organization: Bull World Health Organ. Non-smoking Wives of Heavy Smokers have a higher risk of Lung Cancer: Case study of Japan, 7, 1.
Oberg, M., Jaakkola, M.S., & Pruss-Ustun, A. (2011). The Lancet. Worldwide Burden of Disease from Exposure to Second Hand Smoke: A Retrospective Analysis of Data from 192 Countries, 377(9760), 139-146.
Parkin, D. M., Bray, F., Ferlay, J., & Pisani, P. (2005). A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Global Cancer Statistics, 2002, 55(2), 74-108.
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