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What are the Pros and Cons of Smoking?

By Synthia L. Rose
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The pros of smoking include relaxation and the fast delivery of medicine to the bloodstream, while cons can include lung cancer, depleted oxygen in cells, and a build-up of pollutants in the body if toxic substances are selected for smoking. Nicotine-laced tobacco products are not the only substances smoked, although they are considered the most popular. Over the centuries, royalty, artists and indigenous peoples have indulged in smoking, firing up and inhaling a range of good and bad herbs for medicinal, creative, or spiritual purposes.

Smoking is an expedient and aggressive way to introduce pharmaceuticals and other chemicals into the body. When someone smokes, whether a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, the chemicals in the substance are ingested and permeate every cell in the body by way of the circulatory and respiratory systems. The effects of any substance are more concentrated when ingested through smoking than when merely swallowed and digested. This is among the most significant effects of smoking. It means that toxins like nicotine have powerfully negative effects, which include coating the throat and chest with tar, but it also means a beneficial herb like mullein can deliver wellness more efficiently.

When a person smokes, vapors from the substance fill up the lungs and diffuse into the membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth. After that, the vapors and residue enter the bloodstream, then the heart, and finally the body’s cells. This mass diffusion allows poisons from substances like nicotine attach to taste buds on the tongue and cilia in the lungs, killing them. Toxic smoking can also induce dizziness and heart palpitations. Fits of coughing comprise another con that can plaque nicotine smokers.

Those wanting to embrace the upside in the pros and cons of smoking dichotomy often shift to legal, healing herbs that are sold in some tobacco shops. These herbs, which some creative artists credit for inspiration, are usually non-toxic and come in an array of flavors and scents. These herbs may have the power to ease pain and rid the body of toxins, but some can produce mildly hallucinogenic moments that can be dangerous if precautions are not taken. Many cigarette smokers wean themselves off nicotine by smoking legal herbs.

The pros and cons of smoking are subjective, with many people widely disagreeing on whether any substance can be good when smoked since any form of smoking taxes the lungs. Some medical professionals even decry the use of herbs, even though they are non-additive. Cigarette users, despite knowing the dangers of lung cancer and premature aging, often still regard smoking nicotine with fondness because it has become part of their personal culture and it fulfills oral fixation needs that others soothe through behaviors like gum chewing.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon994140 — On Jan 18, 2016

Don't smoke. It's a joke.

By Bhutan — On Dec 19, 2010

Icecream17-I remember that movie. You really feel a sense of anger after watching it because it tells you how callous these executives were and they did not care that they were killing people.

They just wanted to keep the profits coming in. As dangerous as smoking is I do not know why the Food and Drug Administration has not banned cigarettes or cigars because they know that prolonged use will kill people.

By icecream17 — On Dec 18, 2010

Crispety-You know that my mother-in-law developed asthma because when she was growing up the in the 50”s her dad used to smoke tobacco and have the windows rolled up.

She was essentially smoking the cigars right along with him and this is why she has to use an inhaler to breathe at night.

A great movie on this subject is the Insider with Al Pacino. This move tells a true story about a Phillip Morris employee that blew the whistle on the tobacco industry.

They knew the harm that they were causing but did not want to disclose it because they thought it would hurt their business.

By Crispety — On Dec 17, 2010

Moldova-There is a large debate about the pros and cons of smoking bans. The smoking ban allows people to breath cleaner air and those that do not want to inhale the cigarette smoke will not have to.

New York City was one of the first cities to ban public smoking. Now in restaurants as well as parks you are not allowed to smoke.

People that do smoke say that this in an infringement of their right to smoke, but the public and health experts have deemed smoking to be a dangerous habit and its relationship to diseases like lung cancer can not be underscored.

I think that smoking in public is a public hazard and I am all for the smoking bans. I am especially distressed when I see parents smoking in front of their young children. To me that is unbelievable.

By Moldova — On Dec 15, 2010

I know that are some pros and cons of smoking cigarettes. The only benefit that I can see to choosing to smoke is that it relaxes you and it can curb your appetite.

This is why when people stop smoking they usually gain weight because nicotine is an appetite suppressant as well.

However, the cons are substantial. It is well known that smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema, and can cause asthma and heart related illnesses these are all smoking diseases.

A smoker will also shorten his or her life expectancy by about 20 years or more. This is why many places are banning public smoking. People do not want to be exposed to the smell of cigarettes or tobacco and do not want their clothing to smell like smoke because they know it can have lasting effects on their health.

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