Are tobacco companies killing people?

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Smoking causes an estimate of 86% of lung cancers in the UK but can it be prevented?

Lung cancer happens when there is an uncontrollable growth in abnormal cells in your body, they can start off in one or both lungs and it usually happens in the cells that line the air passages in our bodies.

When a cigarette burns it releases a dangerous cocktail of over 5,000 different chemicals such as, Benzene and Chromium. These are only two of the several chemicals in cigarettes that cause cancer.

Micheal Hanley, 54, from Stoke-on-Trent said: “The government could force manufacturers to include alternative chemicals into the tobacco as opposed to the lethal chemicals they contain”.

Over the last few years the government have been taking extra measures to prevent people from smoking.

They have banned TV and press advertising of tobacco products; tobacco taxes have been increased to stop people from buying cigarettes and anti-smoking campaigns run in a bid to encourage people to recondsider the unhealthy habit.

Smoking is a lifestyle choice and it is not forced upon anyone. Sean Whalley, from Stoke-on-Trent said: “Tobacco companies aren’t killing people, people are killing themselves”.

Smoking damages our DNA, which includes key genes that protect us against cancer.

Laura Kathryn Pugh, 25, from Fenton, volunteered at the Douglas Macmillan Hospice which she found a ‘rewarding experience’. Some of the patients had never touched a cigarette but still riddled with cancer. She agreed that smoking, like alcohol and drugs, is a personal choice.

According to cancer research, for every 15 cigarettes smoked there is a DNA change which could cause a cell to become cancerous. Therefore, it’s better to give up smoking sooner rather than later.

Featured image provided by Paolo Neo, via Wikimedia Commons.

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