As extra research was compiled that added to the risks of smoking, more smokers realized the incentives to stop. Beyond just the cost of cigarettes alone, it was shown that the dangers of second-hand smoke was adding to the health costs of non-smokers and several states passed laws prohibiting smoking in public areas.
At this time, it is widely accepted that smoking:
- Can boost your chance of lung cancer
- Can boost your risk of heart disease
- Can increase your risk of stroke
- Can lead to the inability to conceive or obstetric problems
- Has a harmful effect on oral hygiene
Research has shown there are 49 known cancer-causing agents in a single cigarette, along with nearly 4,000 other toxins. Some debate that the volume of these carcinogens are minute, but that point is lost when considered they build up as time passes, added to with each cigarette that is smoked.
Smoking has been linked to peripheral arterial disease and the chemicals in smoke aid in the development of atherosclerosis and lowers the supply of oxygen to the heart, resulting in heart disease. The good news is, most damage as a result of smoking is reversible and the chance of developing heart disease or having a stroke diminishes when the smoker kicks the habit.
Additionally, recent studies have indicated that the effects of second-hand smoke are nearly equal for non-smokers as they are for smokers, especially for infants, children and older adults. Smokers who smoke around their children are delivering the same chemicals to them almost like the kids themselves were smoking.
Due to this new data, many states and cities are choosing to prohibit smoking in public places. Although some may argue for their freedom to engage in a legal habit, fundamentally the health protection provided by these bans to non-smokers, outweighs the rights of smokers.