Signs That Someone Is Smoking Cigarettes

Tobacco is a plant containing the drug nicotine and is the primary ingredient in cigarettes. The tobacco plant is very small and comes from the same family as the potato, pepper and poisonous nightshade. Surgeon general warnings on smoking and health began to appear in 1965; however smoking is still a major public health concern causing approximately 435,000 deaths per year in the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics' report for 2006. Cigarette smoke contains over 40,000 different poisons. At least 50 of those poisons are known to cause cancer.

General Signs

One of the first signs that someone is smoking is the odor. The smell of cigarette smoke clings to fabrics and hair. You may also notice bad breath if someone is smoking cigarettes. You may see stains form on the teeth of a smoker in a short period of time. Those who smoke regularly or have dry, calloused skin on fingers may display a display yellow stains on fingers. One major sign that someone is smoking will be a decrease in available spending money as cigarettes have raised significantly in cost in recent years.

Physical Symptoms -- Short Term

Negative Effects of Black & Mild Cigars

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An early sign of cigarette smoking is shortness of breath and decreased athletic performance. Cigarette smokers may develop throat irritation, frequent coughing, a hoarse voice and are more susceptible to colds. People who are smoking cigarettes will produce more phlegm, and you may notice they are increasingly trying to cough up or void that extra phlegm. Within a few years of smoking, cigarette smokers may experience wheezing and significant shortness of breath when physically exerting themselves.

Long-Term Physical Symptoms

According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, more than 30 percent of all cancers worldwide are caused by cigarette smoke. The center also advises that cigarette smoking causes 90 percent of lung cancers and has been linked also to head, neck, stomach and kidney cancers. Cigarette smokers display higher rates of heart and lung diseases, with higher incidences of heart attacks and emphysema. Smokers display susceptibility to illnesses due to weakened immune systems, a greater probability of stomach ulcers and higher rates of erectile dysfunction and infertility. The most tragic sign that someone is smoking cigarettes over the long term is premature death, where the center states cigarette smokers die an average of 15 years earlier than nonsmokers.

Psychological Signs

Signs of Smoking Cigarettes

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Cigarette smokers may show increased irritability or anxiousness, and they may suffer from panic attacks. Smokers may also display cognitive signs including decreased concentration and memory. Cigarettes smokers may experience sleep disturbances and decreased appetite, which may impact both psychological and physical health and well-being. Nicotine is extremely addictive, similar in its properties to opiates such as heroin. This will promote signs of dependence in cigarette smokers. Some examples of this dependence are: needing to smoke cigarettes at regular intervals and growing agitation if unable to do so, choosing to smoke despite significant health impacts and needing to smoke in particular social situations.