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
increase in heart rate and blood pressure
premature and more abundant face wrinkles
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