No matter how you smoke it, tobacco is hazardous to your health. There are no harmless substances in any tobacco products, from acetone and tar to nicotine and carbon monoxide. The contents you inhale don’t just harm your lungs; they can affect your entire body. Smoking causes damage to almost every organ in the body and is directly responsible for several diseases.
Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco smoke that causes smokers to keep on smoking. Addicted smokers need plenty of nicotine throughout a day to feel normal to fulfill cravings or control their mood. Along with nicotine, smokers inhale around 7,000 other substances in cigarette smoke. Many of these substances come from burning tobacco leaf. Some of these compounds are chemically active and cause acute and harmful changes in the body.
Health effects of smoking tobacco
Smoking affects different parts of the body. Here are the health effects of smoking on various parts of the body:
Smoking can increase the probability of having a stroke by at least 50%, which causes brain damage and death. Moreover, nicotine in cigarettes is as addictive as heroin. Nicotine reaches your brain in mere seconds and makes you feel more energized for some time. But as that effect wears off, you feel exhausted and need more. When the brain stops getting the nicotine it’s used to, the effect is nicotine withdrawal and makes you feel anxious, irritated, and depressed. Moreover, withdrawal can also cause headaches and sleep problems.
Smoking can make bones weak and brittle. Women need to be particularly careful as they are more likely to undergo from brittle bones (osteoporosis) than non-smokers. Leaving smoking appears to reduce the risk of low bone mass and fractures.
Heart and blood vessels
Smokers are at higher risk for illnesses that affect the heart and blood vessels. Nicotine causes blood vessels to tighten, that restricts the flow of blood. Over time, the constant narrowing, along with damage to the blood vessels, can cause peripheral artery disease. Moreover, smoking also increases blood pressure and heart rate. Also, chemicals in tobacco smoke increase the risk of heart problems and cardiovascular conditions, such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, and heart-related chest pain.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Nearby 70 of them are known to cause cancer. Lung cancer is the primary cause of cancer death in both men and women and is one of the toughest cancers to treat. But, smoking can affect your whole body, and is known to cause cancer in the:
- Larynx (voice box)
- Pharynx (throat)
- Esophagus (swallowing tube)
- Myeloid leukemia
The immune system protects the body against infection and illness. Cigarette smoke has high levels of tar and other chemicals, that can make your immune system less effective at fighting infections. This means you’re more likely to get ill. The constant weakening of the immune system can make you more susceptible to autoimmune diseases such as:
- Pneumonia and influenza
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Other effects of smoking on the body
Smoking harms almost each body part and affects a person’s complete health. Here are a few examples of other ways smoking tobacco affects your health:
- Smoking can make it tough for a woman to become pregnant. It can also affect her child’s health before and after birth.
- Smoking can also affect men’s sperm, that can decrease fertility and also increase risks of birth defects and miscarriage
- Smoking can increase your risk of cataracts. It can also cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
- Greater risk of gum disease and tooth loss
- Wounds taking longer to cure
- Increases risk of type 2 diabetes
- Premature aging of the skin
Tobacco smoking is extremely harmful to your health. There’s no harmless way to smoke. Replacing your cigarette with a cigar, pipe, or hookah won’t help you keep the health risks away. Leaving smoking is tough, but your doctor can help you plan. Ask them for advice.
Quit smoking and stay healthy!
Disclaimer: All material on Hidoc.co is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.