Catch your breath


Sage Sherburne, Herald Writer

Vaping is close in relation to smoking. Did you know that vaping and smoking cause lung cancer, which is a leading cause of death in adults? Did you know that North America (the U.S., and Canada) – Europe (Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and rest of Europe) – Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, Australia, South East Asia, and Rest of Asia Pacific) – Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and rest of Latin America – Middle East and Africa (GCC, South Africa, and rest of Middle East and Africa) have increased rates of lung cancer? Did you know that 155,000 people die from lung cancer annually? Knowing these facts, does it impact your decision to risk your health and enjoy life on the edge?

Nowadays, kids are not smoking. Instead, they are vaping, which like I said, is a direct relation to smoking. Smoking is what the older generation does. Smoking contains tobacco, which a lot of people in the older generation used to pick instead of cotton branches. They picked tobacco for cigarettes. Vaping is part of a new generation and involves what people call a JUUL or an E-Cigarette. Vaping is more popular among kids than adults, but yet is still becoming the most popular smoking tool in this generation.

Smoking cigarettes harms nearly every organ in the human body, especially the lungs. However, any kind of smoke ingested goes through the lungs and harms them. Cigarettes are the leading cause of preventable deaths in the US. Cigarettes cause 480,000 deaths each year in the United States, nearly one in five deaths. Smoking causes more deaths than the following in the US: (Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries and firearm-related incidents). Smoking causes 90% (or 9 out of 10)  of all lung cancers. More women die from lung cancer than breast cancer. Smoking causes 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Cigarette smoking increases the risk of death from all causes in men and women. The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in the U.S.  Smoking doesn’t just cause lung cancer. Cardiovascular diseases (or heart problems) as well as inhaling smoke of any kind causes you to have a hard time breathing. You lose breath really quickly. In addition to this, smoking cigarettes causes stroke and coronary heart disease, but also affects the blood vessels and causes them to thicken and grow narrower.

Smoking can lead to weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate, decreasing metabolic efficiency, or decreasing caloric absorption (reduction in appetite), all of which are associated with tobacco use. The metabolic effect of smoking could explain the lower body weight found in smokers. However, lung cancer patients often experience loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss. Loss of appetite is known medically as anorexia, and the weakness due to ill health and malnutrition associated weight loss is known as cachexia.

Vaping is quite different from smoking. The new generation version of vaping, known as JUUL or E-cigarette, is less harmful than regular smoking, but is still very unsafe. These vapes have nicotine, an addictive substance found in vapes, Juul or E-cigarettes. This heated substance is extracted from tobacco. Flavoring and or other chemicals creates Aerosol that you inhale. Like smoking, vaping is also very bad for your heart and lungs. Nicotine is the primary agent in any cigarette. It causes you to crave the smoke and suffer withdrawal symptoms if you ignore them. Nicotine is a very toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure, spikes your adrenaline which causes increases in your heart rate as well as the likelihood of heart attacks. People who use vape get even more nicotine than regular cigarettes. Nicotine is just as addictive as Heroin and Cocaine. Like I said in the beginning, vapes are more popular among the new generation (youths). Vaping companies make their products smell and taste like food and dessert to appeal to the younger audiences. So instead of tasting nicotine, you taste freshly baked chocolate cookies.

Secondhand smoking is the combination of smoke that comes from a cigarette and smoke breathed out by a smoker. When a non-smoker is around someone smoking, they breathe in secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is dangerous to anyone who breathes it in. It can stay in the air for several hours after somebody smokes and can also cause death.

In conclusion, don’t smoke. Like any drug, it is highly addictive and depending on what stage in your life you are in, the withdrawal can be very hard. There are programs such as rehab that deal specifically with this. If you or someone you know struggles with this problem, get help immediately because whether you have kids or family, your smoking is harmful for them. Additionally, you want them to have a long and healthy life. So, make the right call and get help ASAP. The following listed below are some of the programs available to those who need help.


  • Holyoke Voc Smoking Cessation program
  • Phone number:  (413) 534-3446
  • Address: 300 High St, Holyoke, MA 01040


Sources used in this article: 



“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” — Mahatma Gandhi