Smoking is harmful to one’s health – and there’s no doubt about it. It harms your body as it harms the people around you. No one benefits from smoking (except maybe the tobacco companies that earn billions of dollars). Health wise, tobacco is a silent killer. Below are the top 10 negative effects of smoking to your health.
Smoking affects your cardiovascular health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 2 to 4 times. Smokers are also more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and stroke at a younger age. The nicotine found in tobacco smoke narrows the blood vessels. As a result, the proper blood circulation is stalled causing the reduced level of oxygen and other nutrients in the tissues. The increased risk of aneurysm, or the weakening and ballooning of blood vessels, is also being attributed to smoking. Rupture of these blood vessels may lead to stroke or premature death.
Smoking damages your lungs.
Smoking not only interferes with the natural ability of your lungs to repair and clean your respiratory system, it also damages your cilia and alveoli. These important parts of the respiratory system are greatly affected by the chemicals found in tobacco smoke, especially tar and nicotine. As a result, your body becomes more vulnerable to infections and diseases, and smokers often experience shortness in breathe and constant coughing. Also, smokers are 12 times more at risk of dying from COPD (chronic obstructive lung disease) than non-smokers.
Smoking causes cancers.
Tobacco companies won’t tell you this – cigarette smoke contains more than 50 cancer causing agents. This places the smoker at greater risk of developing different types of cancers including those of the mouth, esophagus, lung, bladder, and stomach. In fact, 90% of lung cancers are attributed to smoking. The 2013 report of the American Cancer Society suggests that only 16% of lung cancer patients survive after 5 years or longer.
Smoking also harms non-smokers.
American Cancer Society reported that secondhand smoke causes more than 45,000 and 3,000 deaths from heart disease and lung cancer, respectively, every year. Infants and children exposed to secondhand smoke are at higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome and are more susceptible to ear infection and colds.
Smoking also causes oral and throat problems.
Smokers often have poor sense of smell and taste. They are also 5 to 10 times more at risk of mouth, tongue, and throat cancers compared to non-smoker. Nicotine and tar greatly affects your oral health. These chemicals also stain your teeth and causes bad breath.
Smoking affects pregnancy.
If you don’t want giving birth to dead or premature babies, you better quit smoking now. Women who smoke during their pregnancy have higher risk for premature births, stillbirths, and low-birthweight for babies. Smokers are also have high infertility rate.
Smoking triggers asthma.
Smoking can worsen the condition of people with asthma. Secondhand smoke can also trigger asthma attacks in non-smokers. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma at a later age.
Smoking increases Health Care cost every year.
Smoking-related diseases and illnesses cost around $96billion every year, and the US government loses around $97billion from productivity cost each year, according to the estimate of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Smoking causes premature death.
Smoking greatly affects the life expectancy of smokers. Smokers are more likely to die 13 to 14 years earlier than non-smokers.
Thousands of studies have been conducted about the negative effects of smoking and millions of articles have been written about the topic, not to mention the number of people dying every day because of smoking – but the same problem lingers – nicotine addiction is still prevalent. It is never too late. Steps are being taken to spread awareness among the people especially the youth. Luckily, more and more people are adhering to the anti-smoking advocacies. Time will come and people will finally free themselves from nicotine addiction that has enslaved them.