The great tobacco debate has been going on for years. Ever since it was determined that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer, along with a host of other diseases, non-smokers have been railing against the evils of cigarettes, while many smokers have clung to their tobacco like a miser with his last penny. But the question is, are the smokers right? Are there indeed advantages to tobacco use?
Die-hard cigarette users claim many benefits to smoking, some are the following:
- Peer group acceptance if peers smoke
- Effective weight loss aid
- Performance enhancement in tasks requiring
- Stress relief
- Some smokers truly enjoy the taste
There are issues with most of these perceived advantages. If a smoker attempts to change peer groups, they could find smoking to be a barrier to acceptance. The performance enhancement is minimal after the first few cigarettes a smoker has in their lifetime; from that point on, it is just a perception of enhancement based on the memory of those initial cigarettes. Weight loss and stress relief could be as effectively obtained by other, healthier means. Therefore the only valid advantage is if a smoker really enjoys the taste, but one has to wonder if they don’t enjoy the taste of the cigarette merely because they cannot taste anything else.
The disadvantages to smoking are far more numerous, and much harder to argue against, a sampling of them include:
- Death from disease caused by smoking
- Diseases (even if they don’t cause death)
- Lung Cancer
- Throat Cancer
- Mouth Cancer
- Many other types of cancer have also been linked to tobacco use
- Decreased lung function
- Advanced signs of aging
- Cost of cigarettes, applicable taxes and paraphernalia such as lighters
- Decreased acceptance by non-smoking peers
- The lingering odor of smoke on body and clothing
- Lowered ability to exercise due to inability to breathe
- Cost of stop-smoking aids when the decision to quit is made
It is clear that the disadvantages of smoking far outweigh any perceived advantages. While there is a cost associated with quitting, over time the damage smoking had done to the body can reverse itself if a person ceases tobacco use. This puts that cost into perspective, especially when compared to the thousands of dollars spent every year on smoking. With all the disadvantages to continued smoking and no real advantages to it, isn’t it time you saved your health and your money by putting in the effort to become tobacco-free?