Danger and Death Rolled in Dried Leaves and Paper


Late night partying isn't cool without alcoholic drinks to sip and a stick of Dunhill to puff. On lazy afternoons, the perfect partner for your strong cup of coffee is a pack of freshly-opened cigarettes. Pipes, cigars and cigarettes have long been a part of a man's image. The fictional Sherlock Holmes puffing with his trusty pipe, the famous Pete Doherty who is always seen with a cigarette hanging on his lips; and the legendary Eddie Van Halen blowing smoke rings after a head banging concert.

Cigarette smoking has existed since history, with various famous personalities known for this habit. Men, and also women, smoke for a thousand reasons. For teenagers, smoking makes them cool or in style, or may be a result of peer pressure. Men smoke for that macho or tough look. Some smoke after eating for they believe it helps them feel satiated. Some smoke when stressed or excited. Some smoke when they feel like doing nothing at all, but most smokers indulge in this habit because they feel good after each puff. Smoking has benefits, according to some scientific and clinical studies, such as mental stimulation, increase in motor activity, and even increase in metabolism.

On the other hand, there are more studies conducted against smoking for the health risks it may give. A cigarette contains lots of harmful chemical substances. Some examples are listed below:

  • Nicotine: This is the well-known substance which gives smokers the good feeling. It is also primarily responsible for the addictive effect of smoking. Aside from cigarettes, nicotine may also be found in bee-expelling pesticides.
  • Tar: This is the brown stain seen on the filter or cigarettes butts. Tar paralyses the cilia in the lungs, which help in cleaning or filtering the air passing to our lungs. Tar is commonly used in road cement.
  • Carbon Monoxide: This gas is part of the cigarette smoke. Carbon monoxide is known to be a fatally poisonous gas. It is also found from the smoke of car exhausts.
  • Cadmium: This is seen in cigarettes in minute amounts, but still is considered to be poisonous especially when ingested. Cadmium is commonly found in batteries. Yes, the batteries you use to power the remote control for your TV.
  • Acetone: This substance is also minutely detected in cigarettes. Girls know where to find a pure form of this stuff acetone is used as a nail polish remover. Added to that, it is also found in rat poison.
  • Hydrogen Cyanide: The sound of cyanide is terrifying enough. This chemical compound was used for lethal gassing by the Nazis.

There may be benefits derived from smoking but health risks still outweigh them. This is the reason why health departments or ministries of different countries prohibit or ban smoking. Some countries try to scare smokers and those who want to smoke by putting pictures on the cigarette packs, depicting lungs with tumours, mouths with massive tooth destruction, and even feet with necrotic toes.

Smoking is a one bad habit hard to break: but always remember that a cigarette is danger and death rolled in dried leaves and thin paper. Be smart and health-conscious and live a happy long life!