Despite overwhelming research that reveals a direct correlation between the use of tobacco and mortality and morbidity, individuals not only continue to use tobacco, but also thousands of young women and men begin smoking every day. In spite of this evidence the tobacco industry continues to produce this deadly drug and spend billions of dollars annually to promote its use. Advertisements lead us to believe that we will experience the life of a beautiful, contemporary woman who enjoys the "good life" simply by lighting up a particular brand of cigarette. Never are the disfiguring and disabling results of cancer shown in these marketing ploys or the premature and permanent wrinkling of the skin, or the bad breath.
Smoking tobacco has significant negative physical, social, cosmetic, and financial effects on women and their children. From the immediate stress response a woman places on her body systems from the moment she lights up, through the lessening of the quality of life of her fetus/infant, to the long-term devastation and heartbreak of heart disease and/or cancer, use of tobacco is detrimental to everyone who uses it.
Lung Cancer is now the leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women. Women who take the birth control pill and smoke are six times more likely to get heart disease or cancer. Doctors don't know why women appear to be more susceptible to the effects of cigarette smoke.
The research on birth defects and childhood cancer is far from conclusive. The following video associates the two. This is a stretch, but the fact remains, IF you are a smoker and your child has a birth defect, would you always wonder if you caused it? The truth is that smoking does impact a pregnancy negatively. More babies are born with low birth weight and complications to women who smoke or live and/or work with smokers.
Final video: The effects of smoking on your body:
- There are some discussion questions below. You are to prepare a response to two of the questions and give at least three supporting reasons for your views to each one. Answer in separate paragraphs.
- Smoking and Pregnancy: Discuss the moral and ethical responsibilities a woman who is pregnant has to her unborn child as it relates to the use of tobacco (and other drugs) during the trimesters.
- Smoking Cessation Programs: After reading about the various smoking cessation methods, explain which method you would select if you were a smoker and why you would chose it. If you know someone who has tried to stop smoking, relate his or her experience and discuss the method used to quit.
- How do you feel about the safety of eCigarettes? What about the use of eCigarettes by pregnant women? There has been quite a bit of news lately about the pros and cons of using eCigarettes in terms of safety and enticing new users. The additive used in some flavorings has been shown to lead to popcorn lung, for example. Support your opinions on the use of eCigarettes.