Smoking As A Weapon of Mass Destruction

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Smoking As A Weapon of Mass Destruction For decades smoking has been glamorized and alluring. It has been viewed as sexy, sophisticated, and elegant. It wasn’t until the 1960s that health authorities began challenging the “wonderful idea” of lighting up. Today, cigarettes have become the new weapon of mass destruction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is responsible for 440,000 premature deaths each year and claims ten times as many lives per year than car accidents. One cigarette contains about 4,000 harmful chemicals. Some of these chemicals include arsenic, a poison, methanol, found in rocket fuel, butane, found in lighter fluid, carbon monoxide, the same chemical exerted from car exhaust, formaldehyde, which is used to preserve body tissue and fabrics, and ammonium, used for floor and toilet cleaning. Despite the extensive array of studies that smoking is very toxic and often fatal, millions of Americans still choose to smoke, but what about those who choose not to smoke, yet still suffer the extreme consequences associated with smoking? The effects of secondhand smoke, also known as side stream smoke, involuntary smoking, and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) have been debated since the 1950s. 40 percent of non-smoking adults and a whopping 60 percent of children, ages 0-13 are exposed to secondhand smoke, which kills 53,000 Americans each year. Furthermore, those exposed to secondhand are 30 percent more likely to experience heart disease and cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency released a study just this year considering secondhand smoke a class A carcinogen for which there is no safe exposure. (Class A, meaning it is known to cause cancer in humans and can be classified in the same category as asbestos, mustard gas, and arsenic.) Even only brief exposure to tobacco smoke in the environment immediately begins

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