Tobacco The Shared Burden Of Smoking

It’s common knowledge that cigarette smoking is harmful to the user. However, the burden of smoking extends far beyond the health of the smoker himself. The cost of smoking doesn’t simply include the price of a pack of cigarettes. Second-hand smoke can affect innocent bystanders, family members, pets and the environment. If you’re addicted to nicotine and find it a difficult habit to break, you may think that smoking is a personal choice. Learn why the burden of smoking is a shared one, and how tobacco companies are still allowed to sell these harmful products.

The Effects of Second-Hand Smoke

Many studies have been conducted regarding the effect of second-hand smoke in public spaces as well as in the home. Smokers need to know where all that smoke is settling, and how long the residue of burned tobacco remains in the fiber of carpets, curtains, upholstered furniture and air.

Second-Hand Smoke and the Environment

The burden of smoking also impacts the environment. Second-hand smoke introduces a variety of toxic chemicals into the environment, including carbon monoxide. And cigarette butts don’t just disappear when they are discarded. Smokers have a carbon footprint that varies from that of non-smokers. Learn more effects of smoking on the environment.

The Cost of Smoking

Many smokers don’t fully recognize the cost of smoking. Do you know how much money you could save if you quit? Some simple calculations can make these numbers more concrete. If you’re a smoker, consider how many packs of cigarettes you buy per week, per month, and per year, and all of the other things you could be doing with that money. Smoking also takes a toll on public health and public funds. The financial burden of tobacco is shared by all of us.

The Role of Tobacco Companies

Since tobacco is so harmful, it’s natural to wonder why tobacco companies can still manufacture and sell cigarettes. The manufacture and sale of cigarettes–and the tobacco industry in general–has a long and storied history in our country. Learn how the ongoing battle between tobacco companies and public health advocates isn’t over; the stakes are high on both sides.

Resources

American Cancer Society. (2010). Second hand smoke. Retrieved October 13, 2010, from http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/TobaccoCancer/secondhand-smoke

National Cancer Institute. (2007). Second hand smoke: Questions and answers. Retrieved October 13, 2010, from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/ETS

Source Watch. (2007). Tobacco industry. Retrieved October 13, 2010, from http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Tobacco_industry

World Health Organization. (2010). Why tobacco is a public health priority. Retrieved October 13, 2010, from http://www.who.int/tobacco/health_priority/en/