There are so many diseases caused by smoking. And there’s no doubt about this. Tobacco contains thousands of chemicals that destroy cells and weaken your immune system, making your body vulnerable to illness. Today, let’s tackle some of the major, life-threatening diseases that are caused by smoking.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and elsewhere. There are many factors linked to this disease, including obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and inactivity. Smoking is a major risk factor too. You might ask – in what way? Smoking accelerates the hardening and narrowing of your arteries, increasing the likelihood of blood clots.
90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. Statistics also show that one in 10 moderate smokers and one in 5 heavy smokers will die of lung cancer. Not only that. Smoking is also tied to many other forms of cancer, such as mouth, stomach, neck and breast cancer, among others.
Lung and Respiratory Disease
While the real cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is still unknown, smoking remains to be its biggest risk factor. Smoking also causes emphysema and chronic bronchitis not only among tobacco users but also among those who are exposed to secondhand smoke. Studies also show that exposure to cigarette smoke increases risk of asthma and other respiratory illnesses in children.
Smoking causes damage to your brain as it does to your heart, lungs and other parts of your body. In fact, smokers are twice more likely to die from stroke than non-smokers. Stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is cut off, causing brain cells to be damaged and eventually die. A study by the University College London found that cognitive decline is 38 percent faster among persistent smokers. The damage caused by cigarette smoke to the brain may also lead to dementia. Research has found that people who smoked more than two packs a day in middle age had a higher risk of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, compared with non-smokers.
Infertility and Other Reproductive Health Problems
Smoking affects the reproductive health of both men and women. Previous studies show that men who smoke are less infertile than those who don’t. The chemicals in tobacco damage the sperm, making them less likely to fertilize egg cells. Men who smoke are also at risk of erection problems because smoking hinders blood supply throughout the body, including their reproductive organ. In women, smoking can cause a wide range of problems, such as miscarriage, pregnancy complications, low baby birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
These are just a few of the many diseases caused by smoking. Aside from making your body vulnerable to illness, smoking also speeds up your body’s aging process. To avoid or lower your risk of developing any of these diseases, it’s time that you consider quitting smoking today. You don’t want to stop when it’s already too late. If you are having problems quitting, talk to a healthcare professional to know your treatment options.