Smoking Essay, Research Paper
Addiction to Poison
One of the most serious and expensive problems in the U.S. is the addiction to tobacco
smoking. People who are addicted to smoking tobacco range in all ages, from young teens to
senior citizen adults. The number of people addicted to smoking tobacco has increased highly
over the last 5 years.( The Re-hooked Generation : 02.) Social problems and media promotion
are major reasons for this increase.
Smokers are every where with their foggy sphere of cigarette smoke. The large number of
cigarette butts that could be found in the streets, parks, play grounds, bus stops, and other places
is one proof of the increased numbers of smokers. High school students can be seen smoking
tobacco on their way home. College students also can be seen on campus smoking tobacco.
Celebrities, especially movie stars, are smoking on TV shows and movies. Leading Hollywood
actors John Travolta, Leonardo DiCaprio, Silvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Brad Pitt and Julia
Roberts are some examples of the many celebrities that smoke on screen.
(www.mascotcoalition.) One might say that most of those celebrities play in movies that are
supposed to be viewed adults. Which may have some truth. Still, smoking is going on in movies
targeted for children like Ghostbusters II, Home Alone 2 (Lost in New York), Honey I Shrunk
the Kids, Kindergarten Cop, Men in Black, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Nutty Professor and
Volcano all showed smoking tobacco.
Over 30 percent of all people in the United States of America are heavy smokers
/addicts- of tobacco. Current smokers rose from 22 percent to 35 percent between 1994 and
2000. says Dr. Richard Clayton, ( The Re-hooked Generation On health: 04.) Surprisingly,
the big percentage of smokers, 72 percent, is between the ages of 14-25, and this generation was
given the largest amount of information distressing the danger of smoking tobacco. The other 28
percent of smokers had almost no information and organizations to warn them about the dangers
What causes this younger generation to smoke heavily despite all the money spent and
effort put in to warn them from the dangers? One factor that helped the increase of smokers is
business owners. Recently, some restaurants, bars, and other businesses where turned into non-
smoking zones by law, such as, restaurants, bars, and many other public areas. This didn t help
decrease the number of smokers, because restaurants along with the other places took a step by
designating areas for smokers. This step, which was intended to save business owners from
losing their cigarette-smoking customers, made the number of smokers steady. Another factor is
the media. A good amount of movies have a hero who lights up a cigarette during an action scene
or a tense emotional scene.
In the movie The Untouchables 1987 staring Kevin Costner and Robert De Niro,
almost every scene the actors had a cigarette lit in their mouths. Such scenes affect the viewers in
a way that makes them familiarize an image of a person smoking a cigarette. Signs in magazines
and freeways also effect people the same way as movies.
Finally, social problems are major causes of such an increase in numbers of smokers.
Stress, homelessness, and divorce are factors claimed by today s heavy smokers as a cause.
After my second cigarette, I feel totally calm and relaxed. I could continue my work without any
problems. Says my stepfather. He is 50 years old, and been smoking for 34 years now. He
smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. He claims that the stress his job produces on him drives
him to smoke.
Smokers like my stepfather need to know that these toxic ingredients don’t just harm the smoker.
Nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke have in their body fluids significant amounts of
nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other evidence of secondhand smoke exposure.
This trend of increased numbers of smokers is a big problem. It continues to increase,
even though money and effort is spent to fight it off. It is very obvious that tobacco is not healthy
for people, it is actually very poisonous. It contains over 4,000 toxic substances, many of which
are known to cause cancer in humans.In addition to the very addictive nicotine, cigarettes
contain: Arsenic: used in rat poison. Acetic Acid: hair dye and developer. Acetone: main
ingredient in paint and fingernail (polish) remover. Ammonia: a typical household cleaner.
Benzene: rubber cement. Cadmium: found in batteries and artists’ oil paint. Carbon Monoxide:
poison. Formaldehyde: used to preserve dead bodies Hydrazine: used in jet and rocket fuels.
Hydrogen Cyanide: poison in gas chambers. Napthalenes: used in explosives, moth balls, and
paint pigments. Phenol: used in disinfectants and plastics. Polonium: radiation dosage, equal to
300 chest X-rays in one year. Styrene: found in insulation material. Toluene: preserves glue.
Vinyl Chloride: ingredient found in garbage bags. (YMN: #4) Now go have a cigarette!!!
1# Ansley, David. The Re-hooked Generation On Health 19 Nov. 2000: 04-06
2# The Untouchables. Dir. Brian De Palma. With Kevin Costner and Robert De Niro. 1987
3# McIntosh, Neil. Interview. June, 26th 2001
4# Web site :http://www.mascotcoalition.org/education/movies/hollywood.html
5# Web site: Youth Media Network: http://www.ymn.org/tobacco/cig.content.shtml