Sample Cause-Effect Essay: Health Risks of Cigarette Smoking (Intro+Cause)



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Sample Cause-Effect Essay: Health Risks of Cigarette Smoking
(Intro+Cause) Modern lifestyles are increasingly leading to problems of health. More and more, one hears about illnesses caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. The pressures of daily life often cause or exacerbate psychological disorders, or they lead to severe stress and stress-related illnesses. In many cases, it is impossible to remove the causes of these health problems. However, one proven cause of serious health problems that is not beyond the individual’s control is cigarette smoking. Although it is not easy to do, a smoker can decide to give up smoking, and effective medical and psychological assistance is available for those who wish to do so. Those who continue to smoke, however, will, sooner or later, almost inevitably suffer the consequences of their habit. There are two very serious medical consequences of cigarette smoking.

(Effect 1) Inhaled cigarette smoke clogs the natural filters in the windpipe. As a result of this clogging, particles and other impurities begin to accumulate there. In addition, the lungs also become clogged with impurities. As these impurities, including tar and smoke particles, build up in the lungs, they infect the system of pipes conducting air to and from the lungs. The smoke-borne impurities are instrumental in the formation of cancer cells. Another result of smoke damage is the loss of elasticity of the lungs, which can no longer efficiently pass oxygen to the blood supply. The potentially-fatal disease emphysema may result from this inability of the lungs to function efficiently.

(Effect 2) In addition to diseases of the lungs, medical scientists have noted an alarming increase in diseases of the heart and circulation among people who smoke cigarettes. The presence of tobacco in the blood stream causes blood vessels to contract, thus slowing circulation, which eventually may lead to hardening of the arteries. As the arteries stiffen, less blood reaches the brain, and the end result of this slowdown is a “stroke.” In addition, tobacco in the blood stream reduces the ability of the hemoglobin to release oxygen, resulting in shortness of breath. This lack of oxygen forces the heart to beat faster (the pulse rate increases), and this in turn accelerates the risk of a heart attack.

(Conclusion) Heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, and other serious diseases are common consequences of cigarette smoking. Although these are among the most serious effects of this habit, they are by no means the only ones. In addition to medical consequences, there are also social, psychological, and economic consequences of smoking. Because of the dangers of second-hand smoke, as well as the unpleasant odor associated with smokers, smoking has been banned from many public areas in the United States and many other countries. Smokers are increasingly becoming pariahs in the societies where they live and work, and this often causes unpleasant psychological consequences such as loss of self-esteem. Finally, it is an increasingly-expensive habit that few people can easily afford.

Adapted from:



Arnaudet, M. and M. Barret. Paragraph Development: A Guide for Students of English as

a Second Language. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 1981. Print.

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