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November 09, 2017

Essays for Competitive Exams : Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption

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Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption

Main Points to Highlight : Amongst animal kingdom, human beings are more prone to addictions. Even civilized society accepts such habit formation and consumerism, on the other hand is busy enough to promote it by expensive advertisement. Medical scientists and health awareness organisations are tirelessly busy to educate the people about the dangerous consequences of addiction

Someone, somewhere uses alcohol or tobacco, it is important to understand the risks. College students of big cities drink which is a surest way to affect their abilities to learn and possibly their future. Drinking and driving is dangerously associated with risk of serious injury or death. Amongst them are the young people who are at the greatest risk. Tobacco use, is an addiction but a wide and general opinion is that it's use is a social status. Moderate use of tobacco is legal in so many countries of the world—though hotly debated topic. Should such addicts be regulated? 29% of the population of U.S become tobacco addicted before they are 18 years old. Of course, numerous health problems are obvious. Personal health and economic costs to society is an another global issue. Fact is : longer the use of alcohol or tobacco, the harder it is to quit.

The alcohol use patterns of college students and overall trends in consumption is a social burden to carry on. Physiological and behavioral, effects of alcohol, including blood alcohol concentration, absorption, metabolism, and immediate and long-term effects—all have become a social commitment and a medical challenge for a civilized society. 

Alcohol is the most popular drug and it's use by young people particularly college students, is remarkably 84%. Culture and tradition on the other hand influence alcohol use on campuses. And, there are several reasons why college students are at particularly high risk for alcoholism and alcohol related problems in the U.S physiological and behavioral effects of alcohol is hazardous. The intoxicating substance found in beer, wine and liquor is ethyl alcohol or ethanol. It is produced in a process called fermentation. While hard liquors go through an another process called distillation. However, the behavioural effects vary with individual and the setting. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the ratio of alcohol to total blood volume. It is used to measure the physiological and behavioral effects of alcohol. The in-depth medical study shows that about 20% of alcohol is absorbed through the lining of stomach. The other 80% is absorbed through the small intestine. It means liver and the small intestine are the worst victim of alcohol. Powerful moods. like stress and tension cause the stomach to dump it's contents more rapidly. Alcohol is metabolized in liver where it is converted by alcohol dehydrogenate to acetaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical that can cause nausea and vomitting as well as liver damage. The most dramatic effects occur within the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the CNS depression can cause vital function depression and even death.


The long-term effects have recently been the subject of research for the medical scientists. Alcohol damages the left brain that affects written and spoken languages, logic, and mathematical skills. One of the most common liver diseases related to alcohol abuse is CIRRHOSIS of the liver, which is among the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S. Many different cancers are associated with heavy alcohol use, particularly cancers of esophagus, stomach, mouth, tongue and liver. Alcohol abuse can cause gastric irritation, inflammation of the pancreas, decreased enzyme production, and block the absorption of nutrients particularly calcium. Evidence has come which shows that alcohol can decrease the effectiveness of the immune system. Pregnant women are prone to fetal consequences. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy. FAS is the most common birth defect and the second leading cause of mental retardation in the U.S. It is the most common preventable cause of mental impairments in the Western world. Symptoms include mental retardation, small head, tremors, and abnormalities of the face, limbs, heart and brain. It is medically possible to say that alcohol can be passed to a baby through breast milk. Therefore, it is recommended to abstain from alcohol or to wait at least four hours to nurse after drinking. The stunning figure of death for all age groups from 5-45 is tragic accidents, 40% of which are alcohol related. 

There are many theories on the causes of alcoholism. Biological and family factors, social and cultural influences (more in case of western world) and urbanization—all have an effect on alcohol use. It affects the family as well as the individual. The other gloomy side is the cost of alcohol to society. It is tremendous. Crimes, medical expenses, accidents and alcoholic treatment—all contribute to the cost. A data-research shows that $ 184.6 billion was the alcohol related cost over a particular period of time. 

Smoking society is equally responsible for social and physical hazards. More than 4,30,000 Americans die each year of tobacco—related diseases. Tobacco is the probable cause of 25 diseases. One in every 5 deaths in the US is smoking related. Consumerism and advertising by tobacco companies have been geared toward young people and women that leads to the financial casts of tobacco. Health costs, productivity costs, and other smoking related costs add to financial costs of about billion dollar a year. The seriousness of the problem is increased percentage of college students.

Smoking is the most common form of tobacco use. It delivers nicotine and about 4,000 other chemical substances. Nicotine and hydrogen cyanide impair the action of cilia cells in the lungs, making it nearly impossible for the lungs to clear and contributing to smokers cough. Many other gasses and chemical are found in tobacco, one of the most dangerous is carbon monoxide. Tobacco comes in several forms--cigarettes, cigars and pipes are used for burning and inhaling tobacco. Cigar smokers increases risk for cancers, heart diseases, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Biddies (hand-rolled) made in India look similar to a marijuana cigarette and are far more toxic than cigarette. 

The other form of tobacco is chewing tobacco. It contains tobacco leaves treated with molasses and other flavorings. It is placed in mouth and chewed or sucked to release the nicotine. Dipping is a similar method where the tobacco is placed between the lower lip and teeth to stimulate the flow of salvia and release the nicotine. And the risks associated with smokeless tobacco are many. Leukoplakia, a white leathery patch inside the mouth, is a precursor to oral cancer. It is estimated that 75% of oral cancer cases results from tobacco use. Smokeless tobacco impairs the sense of taste and can cause tooth decay and gum disease. 

Tireless efforts are on to facilitate the tobacco users and alcoholic to quit. Though quitting such habits is very difficult. In case quitting takes place—there are many benefits. The body begins to repair itself within hours. Carbon monoxide and oxygen levels return to normal; within days, mucous which is clogging airways is broken up and eliminated; within ten smoke-free years, an ex-smoker can expect to live out him or her normal life-span and risks for several cancers, and several types of heart disease drop considerably as well.
shared by Suresh Kumar
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