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Would You Suck On A Car Exhaust Just For Kicks

Aug 12, 2008
How many smokers do you hear make the claim that they are completely healthy? That they have never had a day in hospital? That they know loads of people who have lived to a ripe old age despite smoking? Well, that's ok. Why stop smoking if that is the case? After all, life is for living and doing what you want, right?

Of course, everybody has the right to live their lives just as they want. They have the right to gauge their own health and what they will and won't take into their bodies. That must be why they think it's fine to take in carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and formaldehyde in regular doses throughout the day. The fact that they are still breathing means it's still fine to reduce the amount of oxygen their body receives.

They are more than happy to allow their resting hearts to beat an additional 36,000 times per day, putting a strain on the heart and blood vessels, but hey, they're still working! They are more than happy to pour a full eight ounces of tar into their lungs, coating their mouths, throats and airways every year with the substance that prevents the lung lining and immune system from doing their jobs. All this and more is the right of the smoker.

But is it not the right of the passive smoker to walk in the fresh air without subjecting him or herself to this sort of poison? Is it not the right of every child to have the healthiest start in life possible? Passive smoking is no less dangerous than smoking itself. In fact, the poisonous chemicals in exhaled smoke can be more dangerous depending on a person's health. A passive smoker does not have the option to stop smoking, particularly if the smoker is in their own home.

When a smoker inhales these poisonous, addictive, killer chemicals, they coat their mouth, throat, airways and lungs with products that make the immune system inactive. The lining of the throat will, after a short amount of time smoking, thicken and change into the perfect breeding ground for throat cancer.

The lungs themselves are a highly complex and efficient network of intricate airways that keep your body functioning. The cilia in your bronchi are paralysed while smoking but, due to their efficiency, overnight they will begin to recover. By the morning, they are desperately attempting to clear the lungs of the thick yellow/green mucus that has built up. The lungs want rid of this because it is exactly this type of environment that encourages the growth of viruses, respiratory diseases and cancer. This is the precise reason a smoker will cough first thing in the morning and what puts them off from trying to stop smoking. However, it is a good sign that the body is working on repairing the damage already done.

It is everybody's right not to stop smoking and allow this state of affairs to continue but is it their right to put everyone else at risk by becoming a strain on the NHS through preventable illnesses related to smoking?

The longer you continue to smoke, or passive smoke, the bigger the strain on your lungs. Eventually, your lung will lose some of their elasticity but because this happens over a period of time it is less noticeable and often put down to the aging process. As is the wrinkling of skin and the grey, aged look that accompanies a smoker. This is not age, this is the effect of smoking and cannot be reversed.

In industrial environments, health and safety dictates a safe level of carbon monoxide a person can be subjected to each day. A smoker's blood will contain 600 times that safe level. You wouldn't dream of sucking on an exhaust pipe so why would any reasonable thinking person subject themselves to this?

Smoking opens up the body to all sorts of onslaughts. The reproductive system, as well as sexual performance, will be adversely affected as well as the sense of taste and smell. Still, it is up to the individual that wishes to believe that smoking as done them no harm whatsoever.
About the Author
Health expert Catherine Harvey looks at some of the physical aspects to cigarettes that should encourage a person to stop smoking for a longer, healthier life.
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