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Jul 12, 2019 in Analysis



Nicotine dependence in fact is the usual addiction that does not particularly differ from alcohol, heroin, amphetamine, or any other addiction. The only nuance involves the fact that nicotine intoxication is not expressed, there is no deformation of the person, and there is no social degradation, so smoking has traditionally been seen as a bad habit, but not as a disease. However, in fact it is addiction and a dependency. There is one good thing: nicotine is practically harmless. It can cause a nuisance for acute overdoses, which in practice happens very rarely; however, chronic nicotine abuse brings significant damage to health. Tobacco is classic addiction in its mechanism. All addictions have their nuances and characteristics, and smoking has its own features as well. First, these are a) social acceptability of drug and b) peculiar division of drugs and toxic agents. Smoking accompanied by virtually no objective neurotransmitter reinforcement does not deliver significant subjective pleasure, and it is supported mainly by negative feedback mechanisms implemented by a pronounced withdrawal.

Of all the ills of tobacco such as personal problems of man, to a lesser extent, or the surrounding passive smokers, in general, the harm to society is not very significant, making this addiction a socially acceptable one. Directly narcotic substance is nicotine that is featured by the highest addiction with a relatively low health harmfulness. However, due to the traditional method of consumption - through inhalation of tobacco smoke, the body receives an incredible amount of different substances that do not have addictive potential, but bring a huge damage to health. 

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Because the main purpose of the survey is to analyze, most of the issues it will focus on will be the interests of the certain segment, smokers, with the goal to identify the differences in their attitudes and behavior. At the same time to describe some of the features of this phenomenon, there are investigations of the structure of society based on the relationship to smoking. Hence, the paper will use the secondary data taken from the Department of Statistics. Total number of interviewed people is 40. This number provides a sufficient guarantee of accuracy. The dual (descriptive and analytical) research problem identified specifics of the sample. This research is conducted, using a sample based on secondary data questioning, and it does not claim to have greater representation of such data. 


A wide range of scholarly articles and popular sources is provided in this work. The keywords “Smoking”, “Nicotine”, “Impact on Health of Cigarettes”, were used. The search occurred during the time period of June 30, 2015 through July 10, 2015. Both scholarly and popular sources have been used in this paper which involves the understanding of prerequisites and background of the phenomenon and as well as the current situation. Scholarly articles were helpful in for about the previous data and creating the right image about the dynamics of developing the problem of smoking. The chosen topic can be considered as the one that needs to be examined with regards to the current data due to the permanent changes. Thus, one can conclude that the research on the chosen phenomenon mainly revolves around the scholarly sourses, while its current precedence is examined with the help of popular sources. 


The paper presents quantitative comparative design. The type of research is qualitative research and quantitative research. Its goal is to ensure an understanding of the problem under the consideration. The discipline investigates the “why” and “how” of decision making. Besides this, the paper will also examine the issue through observations in numerical representations and through statistical analysis.


When analyzing the minimum smoking issue, it is very possible to be misled. There are two different points of view on the topic under consideration. That is why there are debates held by the public and press about this complicated problem. Hence, some scholars provide the information from the perspective which describes smoking as great danger for health. Others provide the opposite statements. Some scholars argue that it is not as dangerous as public opinion use to consider. Thus, the middle ground should be found between these two opposite points of view in order to provide impartial and reasoned analysis. Hence, both points of view were taken under consideration and an appropriate balance was maintained in this research work. With regards to popular sources, it can be mentioned that they were extremely useful for understanding the problem considering current data.


Smoking and history

Smoking is a practice of inhaling and exhaling fumes from burning tobacco in cigars, cigarettes and pipes. Most commonly tobacco or cannabis, is burned and the smoke is tasted or inhaled. It can also be done as a part of rituals, for spiritual enlightenment. The most common method of smoking today is through cigarettes, which are manufactured in companies, but also hand-rolled from loose tobacco and rolling paper are used. Other ways of smoking include pipes, cigars, bides, hookahs, vaporizers and bongs Smoking is one of the most common forms of recreational drug use. Pipe smoking was a major form of smoking until recently. Cigar smoking is usually associated with males .Smoking is a serious problem that the entire world is witnessing today.  Though everyone is aware of the harmful effects of this habit, people fall prey to it. The youth is the main population that is affected by smoking. Cigarette smoking is considered by many as a craze or style statement amongst the youth. Tracing the history, it was followed by natives of the Western Hemisphere, in religious rituals and for medicinal purposes. Smoking came into existence as early as 5000 BC, and is practiced in   many different cultures across the world. Early smoking was associated with religious ceremonies; as offerings to deities, in cleansing rituals or for spiritual enlightenment. After the European exploration and conquest of the Americans, smoking tobacco became a practice in rest of the world including India and Africa.

Why do people smoke?

Most common factors that lead to smoking include peer pressure and seeing the parents smoking .Children who see their parents smoking are more likely to smoke in future. Hence parents should avoid smoking in front of their children.  Others include curiosity and misconceptions that smoking is cool, smoking helps to concentrate, helps to improve one’s performance etc. People also resort to smoking to pass their time and to kill their loneliness. These wrong ideas lead the people to smoking and if they are not guided, it may lead to addiction and become a lifelong habit. 

Perceived advantages of smoking

There are no advantages of smoking. People think smoking helps them to be accepted by their friends if they are smokers. Some also believe that smoking helps in reducing weight.  People perceive smoking as something that helps them improve their performance at work. It helps them to increase their concentration and work for longer hours.  It is also seen as a stress buster by many.  Some smoke as they enjoy the taste of it especially fruit flavored hookahs which is becoming increasingly popular day by day particularly in the Arab countries.  Smoking becomes a habit and is fatal.  People find smoking irresistible and get cravings to smoke. These are only perceived or imagined benefits, practically smoking has no advantages. 


Smoking, of various forms is harmful to the body. It consists of more than 4000 chemicals which damage a human body. The commonly used chemicals causing ill health include tar, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide, metals, ammonia, radioactive compounds etc. Smoking damages our lungs. It hinders proper functioning of the respiratory system and hastens the aging process. This habit of smoking is a kind of slow poisoning; it damages the body parts slowly and leads people to death.  Deaths caused by smoking are very commonly reported.  Diseases common in smokers include cancer of the lung, throat cancer, mouth cancer, emphysema, COPD, asthma and other respiratory disorders. Smokers are four times more prone to developing oral cancer, it also causes heart diseases. Chances of a person suffering from stroke increase by 40 pc in males and 60 pc in females who are smokers.   It has been seen that more than 400000 deaths happen in the United States of America because of smoking .Smoking also causes diseases of the bladder, kidney and pancreas One of the main ingredients of various smoking forms is nicotine. People get addicted to nicotine and find it difficult to quit smoking. It becomes difficult for them, but it is not impossible, it could be got over.  Smoking stains the teeth.  And causes nerve pain, gastric problems, convulsions, insomnia, Berger’s disease, arthritis etc. Other problems associated with smoking include nervousness, tension and blood pressure. It has been observed that a chain smoker gets nervous and tensed very often. In addition, it also leads to   decreased libido, mental depression, tuberculosis, pneumonia etc. A person seen to be shaking means he is addicted to smoking, as smoking affects the muscles and leads to these symptoms.  A smoker’s life expectancy goes down by around 8 years. Smokers get tired soon and feel drowsy and sleepy.  The taste buds are affected. A non-smoker will find food more delicious as compared to a smoker. 

Passive smoking is very harmful. It has been proved that passive smoking is more dangerous than actual smoking. It affects the people in the family, colleagues at work etc.  The common symptoms of passive smoking includes coughing, wheezing,   worsening of asthma etc.

Smoking by pregnant ladies results in problems for the baby. The baby is underweight. Statistics show that if women quit smoking during pregnancy, it will save lives of around 4000 babies every year.

It has been found out that the income of smokers is generally less than that of non-smokers. Also the intelligent quotient of smokers is less as compared to those of non-smokers. A person spends a lot of money on smoking which does not do well to one’s health. People who smoke are avoided by many. They smell of cigarette. It reduces one’s ability to perform physical activities. 

Thus, smoking is harmful and has a lot of disadvantages. It not only affects the smokers but also the people around them including their friends, family, co- workers etc. People spend a lot of money on different ways trying to quit smoking. It has been seen that smoking harmful effects are reversed when a person stops to smoke. With no apparent advantages and all the possible disadvantages, it would be wise to stay away from smoking or quit it to lead a healthy life. 

Efforts to quit smoking and benefits

To quit smoking is not impossible. It needs a lot of control, determination and will power to do so.  One has to be absolutely rigid and firm to quit smoking.  A person normally finds it really difficult to quit smoking immediately. This can be done gradually. A gradual reduction of the number of cigarettes per day to nil is the way out.   A person should always be motivated by the advantages of quitting smoking and should always keep that in mind. The person will decrease the risk of diseases caused by smoking. A person’s immunity improves when one quits smoking.  Don’t forget that smoking ones stopped saves a lot of money.  The craving to smoke will be there when an attempt is made to quit smoking. One should divert one’s mind in such a situation.  Medical help can also be taken.  Some of the symptoms include headache, irritation, cough etc.  It has been seen that drinking water to keep one self-hydrated and chewing gum also helps to quit smoking.  Coffee should be avoided as it may trigger the urge to smoke.  One can divert one’s mind by indulging in activities like walking, jogging, sports etc. Exercise during the phase of quitting removes the toxic substances in the body. It also improves ones respiratory process and increases ones stamina during physical activities. The company of smokers and places which will tempt a person should be avoided.  Also smoking quitting is associated with an increase in weight. This should be balanced by exercising. Good substitutes for nicotine are available in the market. But these should be used only after consulting a doctor. The substitutes include nicotine gum, bupropion, nicotine inhaler, nicotine nasal spray etc. Smoking is an environment polluting habit, when given up , it  will reduce pollution in the form of smoke and also in the form of waste like packets,  wrappers, butts etc.

One should avoid watching advertisements related to cigarettes. Also, cigarette machines and things related to smoking should be considered as something which is a waste of time, money and health. One should feel sorry for those who are addicted to it, for their helplessness and weakness.  Facts which talk about the harmful effects of smoking should be remembered when an urge to smoking arises. 

The government of different nations tries to do their bit to help people quit smoking.  They organize anti-smoking campaigns. Also a lot of advertisement is done on national television about the bad effects of smoking. Underage selling of tobacco products is banned in most of the countries The government, friends, parents and relatives may do their best, but unless the person is internally motivated and has a strong urge to stop this vice, these efforts will be of no use. 

Most consumption of nicotine in the world accounts for smoking. According to Jacobson, and Edgar, “in cigarette smoke besides nicotine, there are from 2500 to 4000 different compounds. Almost all of them are toxic, carcinogenic, and extremely dangerous”. The main part of the known adverse effects of smoking is the result of inhalation of combustion products of tobacco leaf and resins, but not from nicotine itself. That is, there is such a division of effects into the dependence on nicotine and the damage from all others.

Nicotine smoke consists of volatile and solid phase. According to Bachman, J. G, Wadsworth, K. N., O'Malley, P., Johnston, L. D., & Schulenberg, J. “the gaseous mixture consists of 95% of the total weight of tobacco smoke involves 500 compounds, including nitrogen, ammonia, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, and benzene. The gaseous fraction is made up of solids, which are 5% by weight of smoke, and about 3500 compounds, which are mostly nicotine, plus several less significant number of nicotinic alkaloids such as nornicotine, anatabin, and anabasine. Everything else is aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrosamines, and aromatic amines”. There are thousands of them, and all of them are toxic and carcinogenic.

According to Bachman, J. G, Wadsworth, K. N., O'Malley, P., Johnston, L. D., & Schulenberg, J. “light cigarette tobacco has pH 5.5. Nicotine is presented in the ionized form and is not absorbed in the oral cavity, but it is absorbed in the lung tissue. The black tobacco (pipe and cigar) nicotine is not ionized and is alkaline (pH 8.5), and therefore, capable of absorbing in the oral cavity. The peak plasma concentration is achieved quickly; nicotine reaches the brain within 10-19 seconds, while for chewing tobacco and nicotine patches, plateau is achieved for much longer, about half an hour. The body metabolizes about 90% of the nicotine from cigarette smoke, the term of half-life is 2 hours, and a full cycle of metabolism is 6 hours” (p. 76). 

A third of incoming nicotine excreted unchanged, the rest of the costs are excreted from the body in very different ways. The major part, 80% of metabolized nicotine, is eliminated through conversion into katinin. Katinin is the active metabolite of nicotine series, but its effect is much weaker. In general, products of the metabolism of nicotine do not have significant effect on the body, and do not present interest for this research.

Does nicotine have a positive effect? According to Jacobsonb& Edgar, “nicotine stimulates emission of dopamine and glutamate, which are the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, and to a lesser extent, of serotonin and catecholamines, which are epinephrine and norepinephrine” (p. 73). Thus, nicotine has a positive effect on cognitive processes and thinking, concentration and attention, and emotional state stabilization. It increases resistance to stress factors, it has anxiolytic effect, it accelerates the reaction, and improves selective auditory and visual sensitivity. Currently, many drugs in this class are under construction. Marketers of pharmaceutical companies call them "acetylcholine modulators" to avoid the bad connotations with tobacco, but in reality, they are derivative of nicotinic alkaloids series. They are expected to be useful in the treatment of hyperactivity and attention deficit in adults and adolescents, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, some forms of epilepsy, ulcerative colitis, in depressive and anxiety disorders. Non-smokers who were given to inhale nicotine water vapor showed the best results in complex tests and assignments, showed higher rates of concentration, speed of execution of tasks, and selective attention, and working memory.

In contrast to all other drugs, they have no tobacco intoxication and altered consciousness. The receptors are located on the plateau much earlier than expressed psychoactive effects would be reached, and the further increase in the concentration of nicotine in the plasma affects only somatic component. Due to the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, small arterioles are narrowed; however, it happens not everywhere as the skin and blood vessels of the brain are narrowed, but vessels of skeletal muscles, on the contrary, are expanded). Central and peripheral pressure increases, the pulse becomes more frequent, up to threatening tachyarrhythmias and congestive heart failure, and peripheral sympathetic nervous system is overexcited, for example, at the expense of nicotine overdose nausea and vomiting develops. Thus, psihostimulirutee subjectively pleasant effect only grows up some time, and then completely overlaps accruing unpleasant somatic manifestations of overstimulation.

Caffeine acts in a similar way. However, caffeine acts by a different mechanism, and it is not directly connected with the system of promotion/punishment because coffee is much less likely to cause the clinical addiction. Caffeine is not a drug; meanwhile, nicotine is a drug. The fact that one cannot be intoxicated by cigarettes should not mislead. This fact only affects the legal status of tobacco - one can smoke at home and at work, driving in the street, in a restaurant, anywhere.

Clinical Criteria of the Dependence on the Chemical Substance

To set dependence on the chemical substance, one should dial 3 or more of 7 following symptoms:

  1. Change of tolerance and reactivity (yes)
  2. Withdrawal syndrome (yes)
  3. Regular and uncontrolled consumption (yes)
  4. Pathological attraction and / or unsuccessful attempts to cease or reduce the reception (yes)
  5. Most of the time, efforts, and money are spent on search and consumption (no)
  6. Social disadaptation (no)
  7. Continuation of consumption despite perceivable damage (yes)

Thus, smoking gains 5 of 7. As it was mentioned above, the feature of drug addiction is the fact that euphoria does not appear during consumption; meanwhile, dysphoria in abstinence symptom can be definitely noted. In nicotine addiction, there are clear and obvious withdrawal symptoms. They are manifested in anxiety, irritability, emotional liability, and affective instability, anxiety, stress, obsessive thoughts and desires, compulsive and uncontrollable addiction to nicotine, as a consequence, behavior aimed at the acquisition of material. According to Meltzoff, “the excitation of the brain structures, which is characteristic for all other drug dependencies, e.g. cocaine and amphetamine, can be recorded by MRI among smokers, who were held in isolation from nicotine for 2 days. Brain in alcohol and opiate withdrawal acts differently because in addition to the mental component, the physical one is present”.

Moreover, tobacco has the highest addictive potential among all known substances. According to Meltzoff, “for occasional users, the probability of drug dependence formation during the year is more than 30%. This rate is higher than that one of heroin, cocaine, and alcohol. Resistant 3-year remission was obtained for only 5% people who quit smoking by themselves and for 21% who quit smoking with medical and psychological assistance” (p. 56). 

The interesting fact is that approximately the same numbers, 5% for unaided quit and 20-25% for those who use external assistance, are noted in different manuals for all violations related to the lack of control over impulsive behavior not only for addiction, for example, but for eating disorders as well. Another curious fact is that unlike marijuana, tobacco is not considered to cause schizophrenia, but the vast majority of schizophrenics smoke (from 77 to 89%, according to various estimates) (Meltzoff, 1997, p. 123). Apparently, they try to smooth out the internal stress. Another explanation is that all schizophrenics take antipsychotics. All antipsychotic drugs, to a greater or lesser extent, can cause unpleasant side effects associated just with the blockade of acetylcholine receptors, and, apparently, some nicotine facilitates manifestation of schizophrenia.

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In addition, nicotine reduces body weight. Due to the constant activation of catecholamines, it speeds up the metabolism, accelerates lipolysis (destruction of fatty tissue), and increases the utilization of glucose tissues. A smoking man usually weighs for 4-5 kg less than a nonsmoker. During smoking cessation, a smoker begins to gain weight. At the same time, due to the withdrawal, constant discomfort and the resulting "neurotic jamming", not many smokers are able not to get overweight.

As Meltzoff argues, “smoking causes nearly 5-6 million deaths annually worldwide that means one corpse of every 9 seconds”. In the Western countries, the number of smokers has decreased slightly mainly among men as the results of long anti-tobacco companies, but for the whole planet numbers are growing steadily. “A study conducted by the WHO Features in 14 countries, showed that the maximum number of smokers was in Italy: 55% among young men and 51% among women and    Greece - respectively 54 and 46%, Uruguay - by 46%, Switzerland - 46 and 36%, Belgium - 45 and 44%, and France - by 43%” (p. 133- 134).

In most countries, the number of male and female smokers continued to grow, with the exception of the USA, Canada, and Sweden. A survey of French pupils and students aged 11-20 years found that smoking among them was 42-46%. In Hungary, as well as in other countries, a trend towards growth in the share of children smoking with increasing age and among 18-year-old smokers make up 44 % (Meltzoff, 1997, p. 137). The problem of smoking among young people brings concerns to many people. They do not like it and hold an active struggle against the daily habits to consume a dose of nicotine. If conducting anti-smoking campaign, one should stress on cosmetic defects caused by smoking. Smokers have reduced skin turgor, and their skin looks old and dry; their wrinkles appear earlier and skin gets an unhealthy color. Tooth enamel cracks and gums are affected, tobacco resin are deposited on them, which gives the characteristic yellow color to the teeth. One can also mention smokers’ bad breath, stinky fingers, hands, hair, and clothing. Taste sensitivity reduces. There is sharp decline in the ability to distinguish odors. These are obvious and well-known defects that any non-smoker evaluates unambiguously negative and, in the best case, is willing to tolerate. However, it is important to remember that the "anti-smoking" is not quite the correct word, because directly nicotine is not guilty of all those horrors.

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