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Running head: Dangers of Tobacco Use 1

Dangers of tobacco use and reasons to ban it

Arsha Abellera


University of Guam
Dangers of Tobacco Use 2


Since the Native Americans found that tobacco plant can be smoked, tobacco has then been part

of many cultures in the United States, as well as, all over the world. Tobacco production has been

part of the United States economy, and is one of the top products sold globally. However,

throughout the ages, many scientists and researchers have concluded that tobacco can ruin an

individuals health. Tobacco naturally possess the substances called nicotine and tar. Nicotine is

the substance in tobacco that causes addiction to the tobacco users. While, tar is the substance in

tobacco that causes illnesses, as well as, cancer in many places of the body. Tobacco is one of the

leading cause of death in the United States. Therefore, the US government has tried different

ways to reduce the number of people getting sick from tobacco use. Banning tobacco use in

school zones, enclosed areas, and public places nationwide can benefit the overall health of the

people of the United States.

Keywords: nicotine, tar, addiction,

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Tobacco has been around for more than 8,000 years in America and the Native Americans

have been smoking or chewing it for 2,000 years, which eventually make tobacco part of many

cultures and traditions (A Brief History of Smoking,2013). Tobacco trade is one of the

businesses that help Americas economy prosper (Tobacco Control Boosts Economy, 2017).

Furthermore, because there are a lot of restrictions placed on tobacco companies, many workers

and farmers working for tobacco companies have lost their jobs. The reason for many restrictions

is that tobacco does not have a lot of beneficial use for people. In fact, tobacco is not at all good

for people to smoke. Tobacco is naturally addicting because of nicotine. In addition, tar in

tobacco is hazardous when it frequently enters the body, because it can cause illnesses and even

deaths to people. Nowadays, tobacco use has grown way more dangerous because many tobacco

companies have been infusing more harmful chemicals in tobacco. Tobacco will always be

beneficial when it comes to the economy of the United States, however, there should be strict

restrictions on where tobacco can be used.

The purpose of this research paper is to educate the public about the potential dangers of

smoking tobacco, as well as, inhaling the smoke from tobacco. It will also help divulge possible

ways to reduce the number of secondhand smokers. Furthermore, this paper would help bring

awareness to the dangers of tobacco use on the users and secondhand smokers.

Research Questions:

What are the dangers of tobacco use for both users and secondhand smokers?

What ways can the government prevent non-smokers from getting exposed to tobacco smoke?
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Literature Review

Tobacco has been around for 8,000 years growing in the wild of America. However, not

only until 6,000 years later did the Native Americans started using it ("A Brief History of

Smoking," 2013). Tobacco is one of the major crops that has brought America tons of money.

However, the restrictions of many tobacco companies, by the federal government of the United

States, many farmers and workers working for tobacco companies have lost their jobs (Stull,

2009). Although many farmers and workers working for tobacco companies have lost their jobs

due to the restrictions on tobacco use, there are not many negative impacts on the economy, in

actuality, tobacco control can help boost the United States' economy ("Tobacco Control," 2017).

The United States' economy can benefit more from placing restrictions on tobacco use than from

tobacco industry. Although the United States economy can benefit from the tobacco industry, the

use of tobacco is remotely beneficial for the people because tobacco is an unhealthy plant to

smoke. There are many reasons why there should be more stringent restrictions on tobacco use.

Many doctors and researchers have concluded that tobacco is not good for anyone. There are

many substances found in tobacco that is dangerous for people, and two of them are nicotine and


Tobacco naturally possesses the nitrogen-containing chemical called nicotine. Nicotine is

an agent powerful enough to affect the neurotransmitter dopamine that sends signals to the

mesolimbic dopamine system, which is responsible for controlling the brain's pleasure and

reward centers (Jiloha, 2008). This mean that the effects of ingesting nicotine are the same as the

effects of doing something that would seem very fun and pleasurable, that is why many people

become dependent or addicted to nicotine or tobacco use. A research conducted by Morud,

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Adermark, Perez-Alcazar, Ericson, and Sderpalm (2016) states that even a small amount of

nicotine can produce long-lasting effects on tobacco users.

In another research conducted by Totten, tobacco use is also the source of many illnesses

and cancer in the body such as in the lung, laryngeal, bladder, esophagus, pharynx, pancreas,

mouth, and lips (1988). An article written by Richardson, Williams, Rath, Villanti, & Vallone

(2014), states that tobacco use and the smoke from tobacco are one of the leading cause of deaths

in the United States. Tar, which is naturally found in tobacco, is responsible for the cause of

many illnesses. Based on Weitzman & Gittelman (2011), tar does not only endanger the lives of

tobacco users, but it also endangers the lives of many nonsmokers who are frequently exposed to

tobacco smoke. Furthermore, one of the illnesses nonsmokers usually get from inhaling tobacco

is tuberculosis, and tuberculosis is one of the leading cause of deaths among nonsmokers, this

includes children (Totten, 1988). There are ways to reduce the amount of smokers and non-

smokers in the United States. One way, and also the best way, is government interference. The

government can place strict restrictions on tobacco, in terms of smoking tobacco in school zones,

enclosed spaces, and public areas like parks and recreations.

Many tobacco companies target high school students to buy their products, but in order

for companies to do so, they would usually place stores that sell tobacco products near schools.

Therefore making tobacco more accessible to high school students, and although there are age

restrictions when it comes to buying and smoking tobacco, there are still people out there willing

to buy tobaccos for high school students (Neff, Arrazola, Caraballo, Corey, Cox, King, & Husten,

2015). Although high school students are not allowed to smoke tobacco due to the restriction age

of tobacco use, it is ridiculous how there are many adults willing to sell tobacco to high school

students. The only way to stop this is for local government to place a ban on tobacco companies
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for selling their products near schools. An article titled "Stores near schools" mentioned that in

2010, California passed an ordinance in 2010 that states that no tobacco can be sold 500-1,000

feet near schools. After passing the California ordinance of 2010, California observed the

decrease in the use of tobacco among minors and also the exposure of nonsmokers on tobacco

smoke. Fortunately, California is not the only state in the US taking action in banning tobacco

companies from selling anywhere near schools, New York and North Carolina are also taking


Besides banning tobacco use near schools, there should also be a law banning people

from smoking tobacco in any enclosed spaces such as apartments, restaurant, vehicles, etc.

("Smoke-Free Environment"). If there are not many ventilations and windows in any enclosed

places, it will be more difficult for the smoke to come out of the place. Inhaling tobacco smoke

would be a lot easier, therefore, jeopardizing the health of nonsmokers. A research conducted by

Glasgow University found that after Scotland incorporated the law of banning tobacco smoking

in enclosed places, there is a significant decrease (15%) of children being admitted to hospitals

(Rox, 2012). If the government of the United States. Many states and countries are already

incorporating this type of law to prevent non-smoker exposure to tobacco smoke.

An article written by Hurdle (2016) suggests that parks and recreations should lead the

effort that parks should be smoke-free. Parks and recreations are a popular place for people to

meet up. In this article, it states that about 70% of both men and women, including children and

elderly people, use their local park frequently. Tobacco products should be ban in parks and

recreations because smoke from tobacco is dangerous to inhale especially by children, pregnant

women, and elderly people. Parks and recreational places are supposed to be safe for children to

play at; however, the risk of being exposed to tobacco smoke is still present. If parks and
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recreations put a ban on tobacco use, then people would not be risking themselves for going to

the park.



The majority of the sources used to answer the research questions for this paper are academic

journals, periodicals, books, and online databases. Websites such as EBSCO and Google Scholar

are used to find articles and credible websites. The academic journals are from:

American Journal of Health Behavior
Tobacco use: health and behavior
Addiction Biology
Morbidity and mortality weekly report
Educational leadership
American journal of public health
Health science journal
International journal of mental health
Central European journal of public health
Bull World Health Organization

I used EBSCO and Google scholar to find articles, academic journals, periodicals, and books to

try and attempt to answer my research questions. After gathering enough information relating to

my research questions, I created an annotated bibliography. To create an annotated bibliography,

I read and analyzed the sources and synthesize the information I learned from the sources. I used

my annotated bibliography to find sources that are most useful for my research paper, and

remove all sources that are not as important and helpful. A source for this topic that is not written

by a professional, nor have any credibility are not included in this paper. To write my research
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paper, I refer back to my annotated bibliography and get all the information about the sources

and incorporate it into my paper.

Findings & Discussions

Based on a research conducted by Bulleting World Health Organization, tobacco control

can actually help boost the economy of the United States. The US government will try to

encourage tobacco smokers from smoking by imposing taxes on every tobacco product.

Therefore, the taxes gained from tobacco products can go to any government funded

organizations such as Medicare/ Medicaid, FAFSA, and Social Security. Furthermore, tobacco

control can improve the over health of the people in the United States. Tobacco control can

reduce the number of smokers and secondhand smokers admitted into hospitals because of

illnesses caused by tobacco. The US government should pass more laws pertaining to the

restrictions of tobacco use.

In the United States, tobacco is one the top cause of deaths among its citizens

(Richardson, Williams, Rath, Villanti, & Vallone, 2014). Tobacco contains substances such as

nicotine and tar. Nicotine and tar are far too dangerous for people to be ingesting or getting it in

their systems. Nicotine is the substance in tobacco responsible for tobacco addiction. The

estimated amount of nicotine absorbed in one cigarette or tobacco is respectively 1.8, 3.6, 4.5,

and 1.9 mg (Benowitz, Porchet, Sheiner, & Jacob, 1988) and only a small amount of nicotine can

get an individual addicted to tobacco (Morud, Adermark, Perez-Alcazar, Ericson, & Sderpalm,

2016). Nicotine is able to befoul an individuals mesolimbic dopamine system, which can alter

the neurotransmitter dopamine, and change the way an individual react to smoking tobacco. The

mesolimbic dopamine system is responsible for the pleasure and reward center of the brain

(Jiloha, 2008). One of the effects of nicotine is high sensitivity to nicotine re-exposure, which
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also mean that nicotine can get an individual addicted if ingested (Morud, Adermark, Perez-

Alcazar, Ericson, Sderpalm, 2016). It is a known fact that it is difficult to quit smoking tobacco,

therefore, the US government will try and discourage tobacco addicts by imposing higher taxes

on tobacco product.

In addition to nicotine, tobacco also contains tar and it is the substance mainly

responsible for causing illnesses for both tobacco smokers and secondhand smokers. Tar is the

dangerous part of smoking tobacco. When tobacco is burned, tar is released and it is harmful to

those who have inhales the smoke. Tar can endanger the lives of tobacco users, as well as,

secondhand smokers. When nonsmokers frequently inhale tobacco smoke, the chance of

developing illnesses and cancer is relatively high. Some of the illnesses include tuberculosis, and

cancer in the bladder, esophagus, pharynx, pancreas, mouth, and lips (Totten, 1988). Also,

prenatal and childhood secondhand smokers are at risk of low birth weight, asthma, sudden

infant death syndrome, and recurrent ear infections (Weitzman and Gittelman, 2011). In addition,

there are ways to reduce the number of people getting sick from inhaling the tobacco smoke


The placement of tobacco stores near schools can influence students to smoke, and for

nonsmokers to accidentally inhale the tobacco smoke. At least 20% of tobacco retailers sell

tobacco to products which can increase the number of smokers in middle school students and

high school students (Neff, Arrazola, Caraballo, Corey, Cox, King, & Husten, 2015). A research

conducted by Vasilopoulos, Gourgoulianis, Hatzoglou, and Roupa (2015) states that smoking

tobacco is the most common type of addiction among high school students. Many parents and

activists have tried to stop tobacco stores from selling near schools, and their actions result in

many local governments in the US to pass laws that will prevent tobacco sells near schools. An
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example of this law is the California ordinance of 2010 that bans tobacco companies from

building stores or tobacco sells near schools. Tobacco production has dropped around 17% and a

number of tobacco smokers smoking near schools and around children and nonsmokers

decreased. In addition, stopping the sale of tobacco near schools can also decrease the number of

tobacco smokers in minorities. Stopping tobacco companies from selling their products

anywhere near schools can stop a student's curiosity about what smoking tobacco feels like and

possibly getting addicted to tobacco.

Another way to prevent nonsmokers from accidentally inhaling tobacco smoke is to ban

tobacco smoking in enclosed areas nationwide. It is more risky and dangerous to smoke in

enclosed areas because if there are not enough ventilations and windows, the smoke from

tobacco use is mostly likely to stay in the room. This results in many nonsmokers eventually

inhaling a lot of tobacco smoke and can put them in jeopardy if they are always in the same type

of environment.

In addition, there should be national smoking prohibitions at parks and recreations. Many

people go to the park and recreational places to hang out, or play. Out of 58 million secondhand

smokers, about 2 out 5 are children ages 3 to 11 (Smoke Free Environment, 2017). Many

children, pregnant women, and people go to the park and playgrounds to have fun. If smokers

also come there smoke their tobacco, many children, pregnant women, and people can inhale the

smoke. As mentioned before, inhaling the smoke from tobacco is not very good for the

individual's health because it causes too many illnesses and health problems. Based on Glasgow

University research, if tobacco use is banned anywhere near public areas like parks and

recreations, the number of people getting sick would drop about 15% (Rox, 2012. These results

suggest that banning people from smoking tobacco in public areas, benefits the nonsmokers
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because they will not be able to inhale the smoke from tobacco along with the harmful

substances, like tar.


Tobacco production may be good for our economy, but it is endangering the lives of

people who are addicted to tobacco use and people who inhale the smoke from tobacco

involuntarily. Although tobacco has been part of the American culture for 2,000 years, more and

more research has been conducted to show why people should stop smoking tobacco. Tobacco

contains tar and nicotine. Nicotine can make individuals addicted to tobacco, and even a tiny bit

of nicotine intake can get an individual addicted. This is why many people have failed to stop

smoking tobacco. Tobacco also contains tar, which is released when tobacco is burned. Tobacco

causes many illnesses and it can also cause cancer in many parts of the human body, because of

the tar.

Placing restrictions and regulations on tobacco companies would be beneficial for the

United States economy. In addition, tobacco control would be able to reduce the number of

people dying from tobacco smoke. Therefore, banning tobacco users from smoking in school

zones, enclosed areas, and public places can also benefit nonsmokers and the overall health of

the society.
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A brief history of smoking. (2013, June 03). Retrieved April 23, 2017, from

Benowitz, N. L., Porchet, H., Sheiner, L., & Jacob, P. (1988). Nicotine absorption and

cardiovascular effects with smokeless tobacco use: comparison with cigarettes and

nicotine gum. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 44(1), 23-28.

Morud, J., Adermark, L., Perez-Alcazar, M., Ericson, M., Sderpalm, B., & Sderpalm, B.

(2016). Nicotine produces chronic behavioral sensitization with changes in accumbal

neurotransmission and increased sensitivity to re-exposure. Addiction Biology, 21(2),

397-406. doi:10.1111/adb.12219

Neff, L. J., Arrazola, R. A., Caraballo, R. S., Corey, C. G., Cox, S., King, B. A., & Husten, C.

G. (2015). Frequency of tobacco use among middle and high school students.

Morbidity And Mortality Weekly Report, 64(38), 1061-1065.


Richardson, A., Williams, V., Rath, J., Villanti, A. C., & Vallone, D. (2014). The next

generation of users: prevalence and longitudinal patterns of tobacco use among US

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young adults. American Journal Of Public Health, 104(8), 1429-1436.


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Vasilopoulos, A., Gourgoulianis, K., Hatzoglou, C., & Roupa, Z. (2015). Social influence and

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Weitzman, M. & Gittelman, M. (2011). Child and adolescent tobacco use and secondhand smoke

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International Journal of Mental Health, 40(1), 3-6.