Harmful Effects of Smoking
Harmful Effects Of Smoking Smoking isn’t good for one’s body. Especially if you’ve been smoking a pack a day, and for a long period of time. But what is the full extent of the effects of smoking on your body? The effects of smoking varies from person to person as it will depend on the person’s vulnerability to the chemical in cigarette or tobacco smoke. It will also depend on the number of cigarette sticks a person smokes per day, the age when the person first started to smoke, and the number of years the person has been smoking.
According to recent studies, every year hundreds of thousands of people all over the globe die from medical complications caused by smoking. Aside from the stench it leaves on one’s clothes, breath, and hair, it also has other complications. Here are some of the different effects of smoking: Immediate effects upon smoking a cigarette stick: * Raises a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. * Decreases a person’s blood flow to body extremities like the fingers and toes. * The brain and the nervous system is stimulated for a short time and then reduced. * Dizziness. * Nausea. * Watery eyes. * Hyperacidity. Weakened sense of taste and smell. * Loss of appetite. Other effects: * Shortness of breath. * Chronic coughing. * Reduced overall fitness. * Yellowish stain on the smoker’s fingers and teeth. * Smokers experience more coughs and colds as compared to non-smokers. * Difficulty recovering from minor illnesses. * Impotence for men, infertility for women. * Facial wrinkles appear at an early age, making them look older than non-smokers of the same age. Because they experience these different side effects, they have a higher risk of developing diseases like: * respiratory tract infections (like pneumonia and chronic bronchitis) * mphysema (collapse of the small airways in the lungs) * heart attack and other coronary diseases * different kinds of cancers (lungs, throat, mouth, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, and stomach) * stomach ulcers * peripheral vascular disease due to a decreased blood flow to the legs Once a person becomes addicted to cigarettes, they may find themselves experiencing different withdrawal symptoms when they decide to stop. These withdrawal symptoms include: * increased nervousness and tension * agitation * loss of concentration * change in sleep patterns * headaches * coughs * strong cravings
For pregnant women, it is important to know that the growing child in their womb may suffer if they continue smoking. The effects of smoking to a growing fetus include: low birth weight, premature birth, or stillbirth. Even those who do not smoke are at risk of incurring diseases. Second hand smoke may cause lung cancer or heart problems to those who passively inhale smoke exhaled by smokers. Smoking may make a person look cool or macho, but you should consider more than just how it would make you look. Keep in mind that smoking has harmful effects that can end up claiming your life.
Before you light up your next cigarette, think of the various harmful effects of smoking and if you’d want that to happen to you. Whether you smoke 5 cigarettes a day or 50, there is no doubt that smoking is extremely bad for you and will seriously affect your health in some way. Smoking cigarettes can harm almost every organ in your body, from top to bottom and inside and out. Moreover, it is only now that doctors are beginning to discover the true extent of the harm that smoking can cause to a person’s health and to the health of those around him.
Smoking over a prolonged period of time can cause a number of serious diseases and illnesses, some fatal and others that will not kill you but will leave you with a poorer quality of life in general. Usually a person takes up smoking when they are young and the effects that smoking may have on their health does not enter their head at the time. Within a short while, they will become addicted to nicotine and it will be too late to give up. The younger a person starts to smoke, the greater the health risks they will face later on in life.
Smoking is one of the biggest single causes of preventable disease and premature death in a large number of mainly developed countries around the world. In the UK around 120,000 people die each year from smoking-related diseases. 50% of long-term smokers die prematurely from smoking, a large number of them when they reach middle age. Globally around 2. 5 million people die each year from smoking and it has been estimated that some time during the 2020’s the number of deaths caused by smoking will hit the 10 million mark.
The majority of people who die from smoking will have suffered from one of three main diseases: lung cancer, coronary heart disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Around 90% of all lung cancer deaths are caused from smoking and smoking is also the biggest risk factor for a number of other types of cancer as well. Overall, smoking has been linked to a third of all deaths from cancer. In the US, 1 in every 4 people die of cancer and over half a million people die each year from this disease. To give you a clearer idea, more than 1,500 people a day die from cancer.
People who smoke a lot of cigarettes a day are particularly at risk of developing cancer and if those people have been smoking for a long time, the risk is even higher. For example, a person who has been smoking one packet of cigarettes a day for 30 years is more at risk than a person who has been smoking two packs a day for 15 years. Smoking also causes a quarter of all deaths from heart disease. Over 70% of smokers between the ages of 35 and 44 who die of coronary heart disease, die prematurely due to smoking. In teenagers who smoke, early signs of heart disease, such as the building up of fatty deposits in the arteries, can be detected.
In the US, coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death and more than 2,600 people die each day from some form of cardiovascular disease, which may have been caused by smoking. Smoking also causes strokes and heart attacks and doctors say that smokers are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers and three times as likely to suffer a stroke. However, on a more positive note, if a smoker quits smoking, after 5 years, the risk of suffering a heart attack is halved and after 10 years the risk drops to the same as that of a non-smoker who has never smoked.
Another major illness and cause of death from smoking is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This term is used generally and includes a number of lung destroying and respiratory illnesses that are brought on by smoking. The main diseases are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The airways and tissues of the lungs are destroyed, which will in time make breathing extremely difficult. Sufferers of these diseases may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, constant coughing and tiring after a small amount of exertion. At the moment, the symptoms can be eased with medical treatment, however as yet no cure exists.
If you already have either of these diseases, giving up smoking will stop their progression. If you do not suffer from any of the symptoms associated with either emphysema or chronic bronchitis, then giving up smoking will greatly reduce the risk of developing these seriously debilitating illnesses. As well as having long-term negative effects on a person’s health, smoking also has immediate effects on the body. After smoking a cigarette your blood pressure will rise and your heart rate will increase by about 20 beats per minute. Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, will enter the lungs and begin to replace the oxygen.
The tiny hairs in the lungs that filter the air that you breathe will cease to work, as they become paralysed by the poisons that are contained in tobacco smoke. Circulation, especially to the hands and feet becomes less efficient and the temperature of the skin may drop by up to 5°C. Your nervous system will be altered and smoking can cause muscle tension. Although the negative health effects of cigarette smoking cannot be debated, it remains the single most common cause of preventable deaths. Each year, over 430,000 people die as a result of a smoking related disease. Yet, over 50 million continue to smoke, including over 3 million teens.
An estimated three thousand teenagers begin to smoke each day, and one thousand of them will eventually die as a result. According to the American Lung Association, cigarette smoking leads to 87% of lung cancers, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Healthcare and lost productivity costs of $97. 2 billion dollars per years arise from smoking related illnesses. Cigarettes contain over 19 known cancer-causing chemicals in addition to nicotine. Quitting is a frustrating and difficult proposition for these people who despite the knowledge that they are seriously harming their bodies.
Addiction to nicotine causes very uncomfortable symptoms of with drawl. Irritation, agitation and anxiety as well as loss of concentration, sleep disturbances, headaches, coughing and cravings. Smoking cigarettes is so compelling because of the effects of nicotine. A stimulant, nicotine causes a temporary increase in alertness and a calm feeling. And it can be incredibly addictive. Some studies have found nicotine to be more highly addictive that cocaine or heroin. Additionally, it suppresses the appetite and smokers tend to keep weight off. How Smoking Harms Your Body
Here’s why cigarette smoke causes so much damage to our bodies. While nicotine itself isn’t thought to be carcinogenic, the highly addictive drug is toxic and potentially lethal in large doses. Long-term smokers have a much higher risk of developing a host of life threatening diseases. Just about any cancer you can think of, including cancer of the lung, mouth, nose, voice box, lip, tongue, nasal sinus, esophagus, throat, pancreas, bone marrow, kidney, cervix, liver, bladder and stomach can result from smoking. Heart and lungs are most damaged by smoking
Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, are largely due to smoking. Heart disease, which includes coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke are far more common in smokers. One of the effects of nicotine is constricting the blood vessels, which in turn causes high blood pressure. Another effect is raising your heart rate, which adds extra stress on your heart. Not only does smoking affect the heart, but every part of your circulatory system. Your blood becomes thicker and stickier, further taxing the heart.
The lining of the blood vessels is damaged, allowing fat deposits to adhere, and is most likely a significant cause of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. As a result, diminished circulation to the feet and hands leads to painful neuropathy, and impaired ability to fight local infections. This can lead to gangrene and sometimes requires amputation. Inhaled smoke contains poison The inhaled smoke contains many harmful substances, such as tar, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, heavy metals and free radicals. Each of these damages the body in various ways.
Tar is sticky and brown, containing many chemicals known to be carcinogenic, including benzopyrene. It also and stains teeth, fingernails and lung tissue. It causes damage to the mouth, teeth and gums, as well as ulcers of the digestive system. Osteoporosis is caused by a leeching of calcium from the bones and predisposes smokers to fractures. The hip joint is particularly vulnerable to fractures and Avascular Necrosis, a disorder where the bone dies. Because carbon monoxide, a major component of the smoke, binds with higher affinity to hemoglobin, it displaces oxygen carried y the blood. Since less oxygen is carried within each blood cell, the heart must pump more blood through the body to transfer the same amount of oxygen to the cells. Hydrogen cyanide prevents the lungs from cleaning themselves of poisonous chemicals. Cilia, the tiny hairs that help to clean the lungs by moving foreign substances out are damaged. Harmful chemicals are allowed to collect in the lungs, preventing oxygenation of the blood. Other chemicals in smoke that damage the lungs include hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides, organic acids, phenols and oxidizing agents.
Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that can damage the heart muscles and blood vessels When they react with cholesterol plaques are formed, which increase the risk of arterial damage, heart disease and stroke. Finally, tobacco smoke contains dangerous metals including arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Many of these are known to cause cancer. The tars in smoke can trigger cancer of the esophagus and throat. Smoking causes increased stomach acid secretion, leading to heartburn and ulcers. Smokers have higher rates of deadly pancreatic cancer.
Many of the carcinogens from cigarettes are excreted in the urine where their presence can cause bladder cancer, which is often fatal. High blood pressure from smoking can damage the kidneys. Smoking Damages Other Systems Smoking adversely affects the reproductive system, especially in women. Many female smokers experience irregular or absent periods. Fertility is compromised, and menopause occurs one to two years earlier. The risk of cervical cancer is increased. For women over 35 taking oral contraceptives, there is a significantly increased risk of stroke or heart attack if they are smokers.
Men, experience lower sperm count, more abnormal sperm with decreased motility. There is also an effect on the man’s level of sex hormones. Decrease circulations also predisposes male smokers to impotence as a result of overall compromised circulation and damage to the blood vessels in the penis. . Smoker’s immune systems are impaired, leaving the smoker vulnerable to a host of minor infections. A smoker needs more time to recover from infections than a non-smoker. Coupled with diminished circulation, a smoker’s risk of infection from minor cuts or abrasions to the arms or legs skyrockets.
Cigarette smoking decreases bone density, promoting osteoporosis. Skin becomes dry and loses it’s elasticity as a result of poor circulation. Premature wrinkling iscommon. Irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines is frequently seen, including painful ulceration of the entire GI tract. Even more serious are the risks to an unborn child if the mother smokes. Miscarriage is more common in women who smoke. Infants of smoking mothers are at increased risk of low birth weight, prematurity, cleft lip and palate, infections and SIDS.