In 1974, 51% of men and 41% of women smoked cigarettes - nearly half the adult population of the UK. Now just over one-quarter smoke, but the decline in recent years has been heavily concentrated in older age groups: i.e., almost as many young people are taking up smoking but more established smokers are quitting. Adult smoking rates vary only slightly between different parts of the country, as defined by the Government Office Regions. For example, in the East of England 25% of people smoke, in the North West, 30%. In Scotland 31% of the population smokes; in Wales the prevalence is 27%. (Smoking statistics 2005) About 48 million people in the United States smoke an estimated total of 430 billion cigarettes each year. Until the 1940s, smoking was considered harmless, but laboratory and clinical research has since confirmed that tobacco smoke presents a hazard to health. Smoke from the average cigarette contains around 4,000 chemicals, some of which are highly toxic and at least 43 of which cause cancer. Nicotine, a major constituent of tobacco smoke, is both poisonous and highly addictive.
Nicotine is an oily liquid substance found in tobacco leaves that acts as a stimulant and also contributes to smoking addiction. When extracted from the leaves, nicotine is colorless, but quickly turns brown when exposed to air. It has an acrid, burning taste.
Nicotine is a very powerful poison, and it forms the base of many insecticides.
Cigarette tobacco contains only a small amount of nicotine and most of this nicotine is destroyed by the heat of burning so that the actual concentration of nicotine in smoke is low. However, even a small amount of nicotine is sufficient to be addictive. The amount of nicotine absorbed by the body from inhaling smoke depends on many factors including the type of tobacco, whether the smoke is inhaled, and whether a filter is used.
Nicotine has various effects on the body. In small doses nicotine serves as a nerve stimulant, entering the bloodstream and promoting the flow of adrenaline, a stimulating hormone. It speeds up the heartbeat and may cause it to become irregular. It also raises the blood pressure and reduces the appetite, and it may cause nausea and vomiting. The known health risks associated with cigarette smoking, such as damage to the lungs and lung cancer, are thought to be caused by other components of cigarettes such as tars and other by-products of smoking, and by the irritating effects of smoke on the lung tissue. Addiction to smoking is caused by nicotine itself. Stopping smoking produces withdrawal symptoms within 24 to 48 hours, which commonly include irritability, headaches, and anxiety, in addition to the strong desire to smoke.
Ban on smoking in pubs
Smoking bans are government prohibitions or voluntary bans decided by establishment management on tobacco smoking in public or quasi-public indoor areas such as offices, restaurants, hotels, or even outdoor public areas such as parks and sports stadiums. In most jurisdictions the sale of tobacco to minors, or minors under a certain age, is prohibited. Such laws have been introduced by many countries in various forms over the years, with legislators citing health statistics that show tobacco smoking is often