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All over the world people drink alcohol in a variety or different forms.
· To celebrate
· To relax
· To be sociable
· To feel adult and manly
Many people have their first alcoholic drink at about the age of 12.
Well some people would say: „I drink when I’m bored“ or „I enjoy the feeling I get from drink“ or „I like the taste“ or „If I didn’t drink I’ d be missing out, wouldn’ t I ?“.
The nervous system:
The main effect of alcohol is on the nervous system. It acts as a depressant and slows down the way the brain works. Large doses make a person sleepy.
Alcohol increases a person’s blood preasure and puls rate. Large amounts over a long period can damage the heart, making it „fatty“ and weak.
Most alcohol passes the liver on it’s way into the bloodstream.
Very heavy drinkers can damage the lining of the stomach, so that food is not digested properly.
Alcohol increases the flow in the blood vessels near the skin.
The rate at which a person gets drunk dependson how quickly the alcohol enters the bloodstream. The presence of food in the stomach slows down the rate at which alcohol passes into the rest of the body. A certain number of drinks during a meal may not make a person drunk. The same drinks, taken on their own, might quickly make the person drunk.
Alcohol is a habit forming. Having a few drinks is not dangerous, so long as a person keeps the amount under control. But someone who is a regular heavily drinker may reach the stage when he cannot do without alcohol.
A person who is physically or psychologically dependent on alcohol is called an alcoholic. Alcoholism is an illnes which can affect a person’s whole life.
What is beeing drunk ?
Well there are four periods of drunkness:
Dizzy and Delightful: If you only drink a little, you’ll only get middle drunk. This usually feels rather pleasant. You feel happy and lose some of your most common inhibitions, e.g. shyness. This can be fun because you dare to say and do some of the things you really want to. Being slightly drunk can stimulate conversations and companionships.
Drunk and Disorderly: If you go on drinking you get really drunk. You lose your selfcontrol, you find difficulty in talking, your vision becomes blurred and you may lose so many of your inhibitions that you say or do things that you’ll regret later.
Dead drunk: If you still go on drinking you can become heavily drunk. This means in fact that you’ve got alcohol poisoning. You wobble around, you lose all control over your speech and movements and you will probably be violently sick. You won’t know what you you’re doing. You may lose your memory and be unable to remember afterwards what happened.
Dead: Alcohol is a poison. If the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream goes beyond a certain level, it can produce stupor, coma or death. Mixing drug-taking with drinking alcohol is dangerous even in small amounts and can be fatal.
The alcohol industry is a big business
In 1983, drinkers in the UK spent £7,140 million on beer. In 1984, over £146 million was spent on advertising alcoholic drinks. In 1983 - 1984 the goverment received £5,963 million in Customs and Excise revenue on alcoholic drinks. More money is spent each year on alcoholic drinks than on chlothing.
Drinking and driving
The presence of alcohol in the bloodstream affects a person’s driving skill. Since 1967 it has been an offence to drive with a blood-alcohol level of more than 80 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. A person suspected of driving while under the unfluence of drink is given a breath test.
Anyone convicted of driving while under the influence of drink is automatically disqualified from driving for a year and may also be fined or imprisoned.
2.) The tobacco habit
The history of tobacco
Tobacco was introduced into England in the 16th century. Cigarettes were unknown and people who smoked used pipes. Tobacco can be chewed or inhaled as snuff. The habit of taking snuff was common in the late 17th century and during the 18th century, but has now largely died out.
Cigars and cigarettes were introduced during the 19th century, but pipe smoking remained the most popular form of smoking until this century. Cigarette smoking increased sharply during the two world wars. As the consumption of cigarettes has increased, so has the number of death from lung cancer.
Why do people smoke ?
Well there are three points:
Pleasure: Most people smoke to enjoy the taste and aroma of tobacco and tobacco smoke. Many of them enjoy the whole process of lighting up, inhaling and breathing out the smoke.
Relaxion: A large number of smokers claim that it helps them to relax. There is some evidence that one affect of nicotine is to act as a sedative, claiming the nerves.
Habit: Cigarette - smoking is a habit forming. Most adult smokers smoke from habit.
Why do young people smoke ?
Surveys show that many young poeple try their first cigarette at the age of 11 or 12. They continued to experiment for a number of years, without forming a habit. In 1983, a survey of 5000 secondary schoolchildren reported that 25% of 5th year pupils smoked regulary. Children aged 11 to 16 smoked nearly £60 million worth of cigarettes a year.
Many young people say they smoked their first cigarette to find out for themselve what is was like. Older teenagers often admit that they took up smoking because their family or friends smoked and they wanted to appear like them.
What happens when you smoke ?
Tobacco smoke is a mixture of tiny droplets of tar and gases.
Nicotine: Is a very powerful drug and is probably the addictive agent in cigarettes. Nicotine temporarily stimulates the nervous system.
Tar: Tobacco tar contains a number of cancer producing substances. When tobacco smoke is inhaled it coasts the lungs with tar. The last third of a cigarette produces more tar and nicotine than the first-two-thirds put together.
Carbon monoxide: Is the deadly gas that is present in car exhaust fumes. It is also present in cigarette smoke. It affects the blood’s ability to carry oxygen round the body. This is one reason why sucessful sportsmen don’t smoke !
Irritant dusts: The dusts in cigarette smoke irritate the lining of the air tubes. They damage the cilia, the fine hairs which keep the lings clean. They also produce the „smoker’s cough“.
Tobacco and the human body
The teeth of heavy smokers may become dull and yellow from nicotine stains.
Smoking can damage the lungs so badly that a person cannot breath properly. 90% of deaths from lung cancer are the result of smoking.
Smoking causes as many deaths from coronary heart disease as it does from lung cancer. As well as weakening the heart muscle, smoking may also produce disease of their arteries.
Tobacco smoke irritates the lining of the stomach. It can affect the digestive system so that food is not digested properly.
The risks of smoking
· Cigarette smoking is responsible for 50.000 premature deaths a year.
· One in ten heavy smokers dies of lung cancer, which kills more than 30.000 people a year in Britain. Half of those who die from lung cancer are under the age of 65.
· People in Britain die each year from a heart attack. 25% of these deaths are considered to be due to smoking. Smoking makes the risks of death from a coronary attack five times greater.
· Cigarettes are one of the major causes of bronchitis, which kills over 30.000 people a year in Britain.
· An average cigarette smoker is likely to give up 5½ years of his life because he smokes.
· 13 times more smokers die of lung cancer than non-smokers.
3.)The choice is yours
If you smoke:
· If you haven’t started smoking, don’t. Some of your friends or other people at school may smoke themselves and encourage you or dare you to try it. Saying „NO“ is sensilbe not cowardly.
· If you’ve already started smoking, try to give it up while you’re young. The longer you smoke, the worse your chances are, and the more difficult it is to give up.
· If you have to smoke some form of tobacco, smoke a pipe, or cigar. Because you don’t normally inhale pipe and cigar smoke, the risks of getting bronchitis or lung cancer are much lower than with cigarettes.
If you drink:
· Always set limits to the number of drinks - never be persuaded to exceed it.
· Try always to eat when drinking.
· Drink slowly; never gulp.
· Never drink while driving.
· Always respect alcoholic drinks - remember that in small amounts it can give pleasure; in excess it can cause trouble.