Smoking Facts Sheet | The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Side

In our Smoking Facts Sheet, we’ll consider the most common pleasures of choice in Cigarettes and Bhang. Bearing in mind, there are various types of both cannabis smoking and tobacco smoking that are on the market today. It’s also good to note that, there are also different types of smokers. Whereby, on top of the list are habitual smokers.

Overall, any kind of smoking can become problematic for your health, whether you’re only a social smoker or you’re Don Draper. No cigarette is without risk, and all smoking increases your risk of deadly diseases. However, it is important to be informed and understand that the label of “smoker” may be a blanket term for a variety of behaviors.

The Meaning of Smoking

The truth is; there are many paths out of addiction to smoking, and the first option is consulting a physician about the options. If you are a regular smoker, I encourage you to talk to a health care professional as soon as possible. The dangerous risks of habitual smoking are far too high to place on yourself, your family, and your friends.

The Meaning of Smoking

Smoking is the act of inhaling and exhaling the fumes of burning plant material. A variety of plant materials that are readily smoked include tobacco, marijuana, and hashish. But, the act is most commonly associated with tobacco as smoked in a cigarettecigar, or pipe, unlike pot. With contributing factors like accessibility, cost, and legality.

Tobacco contains nicotine, an alkaloid that is addictive and can have both stimulating and tranquilizing psychoactive effects. The smoking of tobacco, long practiced by American Indians, was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus and other explorers. And it soon spread to other areas around the world.

As of today, it’s widely practiced around the world despite medical, social, and religious arguments against it. More so, irrespective of age, gender, or even nationality. On the other hand, it’s unclear how long humans have used Marijuana as a drug. But, archaeologists have discovered tools used to burn Psychoactive Marijuana dating back 2,500 years in China.

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The Chinese Emperor Shen Nung created the first written record of Marijuana use in the year 2727 BC, almost 5,000 years ago. Because of the speed of its growth and the use of hemp for rope and cloth, Marijuana saw use throughout many ancient societies. Lasting through to the present day.

Even though humans have been smoking Marijuana for thousands of years, its effects on the body are still being discovered. And, as it becomes more legal and more available, knowing those effects has become more important too. Just like the ongoing studies of tobacco use. That said, let’s now define the different types of smokers.

Types of Smokers by Category

Unfortunately, it’s no big secret that smoking is bad for your health. Even various campaigns, writings, and media have made it abundantly clear on this issue. That there are no health benefits to lighting up a roll of tobacco. Though there are just many consequences.

However, most conversations about smoking paint it in black and white, when in reality, smoking habits are much more nuanced. Whilst, implying diversity among the health consequences. For example, smoking a single cigarette on a Friday evening must carry a different set of consequences than smoking two packs a day.

Definitely, I’m not arguing for a repeal of anti-smoking campaigns in any way, whatsoever. But, I do think it’s critical to “know the beast” of smoking in its various forms when considering health risks. With that in mind, below is an elaborate definition of the main types of smokers, especially, the adept tobacco lovers.

1. Social Smokers

Generally, social smokers are a small subset of people (up to about 30 percent). Usually, they only smoke in specific settings (parties, meetings, etc.), or under specific circumstances, and typically with other people. Though the definition is rather vague, social smoking can be defined as an intermittent, nonaddicted (i.e., smoking to stave off cravings) activity.

Social smokers are what casual drinkers are when compared to alcoholics. Popular in the college scene, it seems as though these smokers are addicted to smoking, ultimately. Rather than the active addictive ingredient in cigarettes, nicotine. They tend to be addicted to the sensation of the smoke and the nicotine high.

However, though these smokers are not “addicted” in the pack-a-day sense of the term, they are at greater risk for heart disease and cancer. This low level of smoking is not as dangerous as heavy cigarette use. But, it’s important to remember that smoking is extremely toxic to the body.

Because many social smokers do not view themselves as smokers at all, they are the least likely to quit. Also, social smoking can be dangerous because, in many individuals, it leads to more consistent smoking and dependence on nicotine. In a study that followed social smoking college students for four years, one-fifth of them became daily smokers.

2. Anxious Smokers

These are smokers who smoke when they’re anxious about something — a physiological paradox — even though it may make them feel more relaxed. Smokers experience elevated physical signs of stress but report feeling less stress than before smoking. There are researchers who are still studying this phenomenon.

But, a likely explanation is that nicotine has the ability to stimulate the pleasure centers in our brain while stressing other systems. All that is to say that there are much more efficient and effective ways to reduce your stress levels than taking a drug. For instance, yoga and even breathing exercises won’t give you a buzz like that of nicotine.

Moreover, if you know that you are prone to anxiety, be proactive about seeking healthy, sustainable ways to manage your restless mind. Be more physically occupied, take some rest whenever necessary, and make sure that you also get enough sleep.

3. Skinny Smokers

In most cases, this category applies mainly to health and fitness enthusiasts. Perse, nicotine strongly curbs your appetite, leading many to pick up smoking as a way to lose weight. In fact, one-half of female smokers and one-fourth of men who smoke are worried about their weight.

Although the average post-quitting weight gain is in the 5-10 pound range, most people who quit smoking return to their average weight. All that is to say that bikini season is not worth doing permanent damage to your lungs. Or rather, putting yourself at risk for several diseases and health complications.

The best way to stay rejuvenated and actively fit is by exercising the very basic workout routines. Like climbing the stairs instead of using lifts, taking a walking in the evening from work instead of relying on vehicles, participating in swimming, doing home chores instead of hiring, etc.

4. Addicted Smokers

Technically, this kind of nicotine-addicted smoking is the kind that most health questionnaires assume when someone answers yes to the smoking question. This is the kind of smoking commonly disparaged in anti-smoking campaigns. And, rightfully so-it is the most deadly. Someone who smokes regularly is addicted to nicotine.

As such, they eventually smoke in order to satisfy a physiological craving. An individual addicted to smoking has an extremely high risk of contracting cancer or heart disease. Furthermore, there are also other negative aspects of habitual smoking. For one thing, it cost those who are addicted several thousands of dollars a year.

Additionally, some studies have shown that each cigarette you smoke reduces your lifespan by 11 minutes. Hence, it’s always wise to stay out of the league at all costs — that’s if you are not already in the game. But, if you are in and wants out, there’s always a way to start and leap a healthy life.

Product Forms Smoked As Tobacco

Basically, there is no safe form of tobacco. Staying tobacco-free is the best way to protect your health. Tobacco hurts and kills people. In fact, smoking causes about 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. There are many forms of tobacco on the market, and people often think some forms are safe and don’t cause health problems. This isn’t true.

Notably, people can either smoke, chew, or sniff tobacco. Smoked tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, bidis, and kreteks. Some people also smoke loose tobacco in a pipe or hookah (water pipe). Chewed tobacco products include chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, and snus; snuff can also be sniffed.

The main forms of tobacco smoking include:
  • Regular (combustible) cigarettes,
  • Light, hand-rolled, natural, or herbal cigarettes
  • Menthol cigarettes
  • Cigars and little cigars
  • Electronic or e-cigarettes (vaping devices)
  • Clove cigarettes (kreteks)
  • Bidis (flavored cigarettes)
  • Hookahs (water pipes)
  • You can learn more in detail

Other tobacco products, like e-cigarettes, hookahs, edibles, heat-not-burn cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco, contain some of the same chemicals as regular combustible cigarettes.

It’s important to know that even though e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies them as “tobacco products.” Read more about Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products DrugFacts in detail.

Effects of Cigarette Smoking

By cigarette smoking, there’s an established risk factor for cancer and cardiovascular disease. And it’s the leading cause of avoidable disease in most industrialized countries. But, less well-known are possible beneficial effects.

Preliminary data suggest that there may be inverse associations of smoking with uterine fibroids and endometriosis. Whilst, protective effects on hypertensive disorders and vomiting of pregnancy are likely too. Watch the video below to learn more about the effects of cigarettes on the body.

Smoking has consistently been found to be inversely related to the risk of endometrial cancer. But, cancers of the breast and colon seem unrelated to smoking.

Forthwith, inverse associations with venous thrombosis and fatality after myocardial infarction are probably not causal. For more information, you can learn more about other Health Effects as well as related health consequences in detail.

Does Cigarette Smoking Offer Any Benefits?

First of all, indications of benefits with regard to recurrent aphthous ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and control of body weight may well reflect a genuine benefit.

Evidence is growing that cigarette smoking and nicotine may prevent or ameliorate Parkinson’s disease, and could do so in Alzheimer’s dementia. A variety of mechanisms for potentially beneficial effects of smoking have been proposed. But, there are three predominant.

Learn More: 26 Health Effects of Smoking on Your Body – Healthline

These predominants include the ‘anti-estrogenic effect’ of smoking, alterations in prostaglandin production, and stimulation of nicotinic cholinergic receptors in the central nervous system. Even established inverse associations cannot be used as a rationale for cigarette smoking. However, this data is very useful to clarify the mechanisms of diseases.

More so, in order to point to productive treatment or preventive options with more narrowly-acting interventions. Of course, there are many other non-sarcastic advantages that many smokers can experience. We’ll assume we are just talking about tobacco and nicotine. Thus, well note what the two elements do to the body of the smoker.

Consider the following summary:
  • Improved digestion: Nicotine is a very effective stimulant.
  • Keeps judgmental people far away: This is one of the biggest reasons why many starts to avoid such persons.
  • Improved concentration: Since it’s a stimulant, this explains why many smoke through mindful tasks.
  • Improved brain repair and coping with stress: Though it’s still under study, smokers cope better with stress tests.
  • Prevents Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s: This is also still being studied, but there is a dramatic difference for smokers.
  • Tobacco smoke repels insects: For nicotine is a natural pesticide. It also stays in the bloodstream reducing bug bites.

Smoking has also been shown to have positive effects on ulcerated colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. And, this is likely due to the nicotine elements. You can learn more about How Nicotine May Help Ulcerative Colitis in detail. 

In addition, according to one Quora User — Max H Malcolm, he values smoking more for its taste. “Taste. I prefer the flavor of cigars and pipe tobacco. There is no flavor like it and when I do go back to smoking after a break flavor is a central motivator. It’s somewhere between the best cup of coffee, dark chocolate, and a really good cut of steak.”

Effects of Smoking Marijuana

As a matter of fact, when smoked, Marijuana spends most of its time in the lungs. Because they are both most commonly smoked, Marijuana and tobacco are often compared. Cigarettes are thought to cause more bodily harm than bhang.

But, that may not be true in all cases. While cigarettes cause many more deaths each year, smoking Marijuana is actually more damaging in some ways. For instance, Smoking Marijuana deposits 4 times as much tar in the lungs as cigarettes, due in part to the inhalation technique.

The common method of Smoking Marijuana includes holding the smoke in the lungs for a much longer duration than other smoked substances. This continued exposure allows more of the molecules in the smoke to settle in the respiratory system. And, it may also create long-term issues for the lungs.

The Lungs & Respiratory System

Ultimately, the lungs are most comfortable when inhaling air. When any substance is burned and inhaled, it creates an inflammatory response in the airways and lungs. Thus, Smoking Marijuana can cause coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. People who self-identify as heavy users report more frequent symptoms of bronchitis.

They’ll also commonly show increased airway resistance. The Guardian reported that smoking a single Marijuana joint “may cause as much damage to the lungs as five chain-smoked cigarettes.” One of the most pressing questions revolves around potential lung cancer associated with smoking Marijuana.

At its core, Marijuana smoke contains carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals). But, as of yet, no positive link can be established between smoking Marijuana and a significant increase in lung cancer occurrence. Other research demonstrates that THC and CBD may both possess anti-tumor effects.

Bearing in mind, THC and CBD are the 2 main active ingredients in Marijuana. Scientists theorize that this ability could be a reason behind the relative lack of lung cancer incidence in evenly heavy smokers. But, more research is still underway to prove this theory.

The Mouth & Testicular Cancer

Research on the effects Marijuana causes on oral health often runs into the same issues as lung research. Identifying a single substance and its sole effects on the mouth have proven to be a difficult task. Evidence tentatively shows a link between smoking Marijuana and poor dental health.

On one hand, many people who smoke Marijuana also smoke Nicotine products, drink alcohol, or take poor care of their teeth in general. Therefore, this highly intertwines their dental hygiene influencer sources. On the other hand, the current research data may be unclear when it comes to lung cancer too.

But, new research is starting to reveal a possible link between heavy Marijuana use and testicular cancer. Consider a recent study case including over 40,000 Swedish men. The finding is that 50 years since its start, those men who use Marijuana heavily are also more likely to report incidences of testicular cancer.

To date, scientists are still unsure as to what would cause a reaction in the body as a result of the Bhang use. However, some hypothesize that the way THC and CBD bind to certain cells in the testes can trick the body into processes that lead to the growth of tumor cells.

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But, more research needs to be done in order to discover if this link exists or not. All in all, moderation is, at most, suggested when it comes to using Marijuana.

Likewise, there is a need for more research to fully explore the relationship between Marijuana and pregnancy. As of now, the information available generally points in a single direction. Most information suggests that the use of Marijuana during pregnancy can have negative effects on the baby at birth.

And perhaps, lasting through childhood. If an expectant mother regularly uses Marijuana, there is a higher risk of low weight and length for the newborn. Research also shows that drug or alcohol use during pregnancy can double or almost triple the risk of stillbirth.

As child ages, less research exists to demonstrate any links between Marijuana and possible complications. Whatever little research is available there are only a few highlights to note. Like how exposing children before birth to Marijuana increases the rates of poor memory and poor attention skills.

How to Quit Smoking

Being aware of the harm smoking can cause is the starting point for “kicking the habit.” For example, the U.S. surgeon general’s report in 1964 brought to public awareness a link between smoking and cancer. The is one of the key milestones that are notable even today. As a result, smoking rates in the United States dropped precipitously.

By 2000 the smoking rate was about one-half that of 1960. Furthermore, strong antismoking warnings and health-related messages generally increase smokers’ motivation to quit. More so, as was shown in Canada when it adopted strong graphic warnings on cigarette packaging.

WHO now promotes such warnings as a very important educational tool. Especially, in order to motivate smoking cessation and to help prevent persons from starting to smoke. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who try to stop smoking resume within a few weeks of quitting.

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Simply, because of the high addictive grip of nicotine. Persons who smoke any cigarettes at all usually smoke enough to develop an addiction to nicotine. In general, the more cigarettes a person smokes per day, the greater is the addiction.

It also becomes more difficult for them to quit. In addition to nicotine dependency, the key factors that impede quitting smoking are the easiness of cigarettes access  As well as the withdrawal symptoms that accompany any discontinuance of nicotine intake.

Symptoms Include:
  • cravings,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • irritability,
  • difficulty concentrating,
  • insomnia, etc.

Some people can manage smoking dependence and withdrawal better than others, but most people often learn how to deal with these problems after repeating several attempts.

Medical intervention, including behavioral guidance, can be critical for recovery from tobacco addiction. Equally important, scientifically based treatment strategies can have more than double the success rate of quitting “cold turkey” without assistance. The health benefits of quitting are so profound.

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Even leading health authorities consider treatment for tobacco dependence to be among the most important and cost-effective types of medical intervention. WHO and the governments of many nations are working aggressively to make scientifically proven treatments available to all tobacco users too. So that they may find a path to better their health.

Other organizations such as the World Bank are also working to support the availability of treatment in developing countries too. More so, in order to make sure that tobacco-causing disease does not cripple their struggling economies. As well as its burdens on health care systems and worker productivity.

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Finally, as Marijuana becomes more readily available, the opportunity for abuse will grow as well. But, problems don’t have to grow unchecked. If you or a loved one is struggling with a dependence problem, you can try to contact a treatment provider for rehab-related services and other useful resources.

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