Smoking in considered the largest preventable cause of death worldwide. Every day we are attacked with the side effects of smoking, but it does not seem to convince smokers that smoking truly is the worst thing for their health. To round up, regular smoking cuts half an hour of your life with every two cigarettes. On average smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers.

Here is a list of the effects of smoking:

  • CANCER

Lung cancer develops in 95% of patients with a positive history of smoking. Smoking is also associated with other cancers such as bladder cancer, kidney cancer, throat cancer, mouth cancer, esophagus cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, cervical cancer, bowel cancer, ovarian cancer, cancer of the nose and sinuses and some forms of leukemia.

There are over 4,000 compounds in a cigarette smoke. A large number of them are toxic and harm our cells; some of them are carcinogenic meaning that they cause cancer.

Cigarette smoke primarily consists of:

Nicotine: this is not the carcinogenic compound, but it is responsible for the addictiveness of smoking. Nicotine acts very fast, it reaches the neurons in 15 seconds after being inhaled. If there were no nicotine in cigarettes the number of smokers wouldn’t be this concerning and the tobacco industry would surely fail.

Nicotine exposure leads to depression of the nervous system, growth retardation and in pregnancy to improper fetal development.

Carbon Monoxide: it is a tasteless and poisonous gas. It is highly soluble in blood and interacts easily with hemoglobin. If there is enough carbon monoxide in the air inhaling it will cause fatigue, weakness, dizziness, decreased muscle and heart function and gradually coma and death.

Tar from the inhaled cigarette smoke 70% of the tar remains in the lugs. It is a harmful chemical residue that coats everything with a brownish-yellow film. The tar in cigarette smoke harms the cilia predisposing to many diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer.
Nitrosamines: NNN, NAT and NNK are the three compounds unique to tobacco that are known carcinogens.

Other compounds found in cigarette smoking include: cyanide, benzene, formaldehyde, methanol, acetylene, ammonia, cresol, lead and many more.

NERVOUS SYSTEM
The stimulant effect of nicotine only lasts very short, after this effect it leaves you tired and craving for more. Smoking also leads to poor eye sight because it causes macular degeneration and cataracts.

RESPIRATOY SYSTEM
Smoking damages the cilia function, predisposing to infections. It is also related with emphysema, the destruction of air sacs, chronic bronchitis, where the lining of the bronchi get inflamed and the condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM
Smoking is one of the leading causes of atherosclerosis, the accumulation of fatty substances in the lumen of arteries. This condition leads to coronary heart disease predisposing to heart attack.

Smoking also increases blood sugar, causes vasoconstriction, hypertension, raises the risk of forming blood clots and aortic aneurism.

INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM
Skin involvement by smoking presents with discoloration, wrinkles, and premature aging. The presence of tar manifests as a brownish-yellow stain on the nails, fingers and teeth. The bad smell of the cigarette smoke also clings to the hair and skin.

DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Oral problems are very common in smokers, presenting with gingivitis and periodontists. These conditions lead to tooth decay, tooth loss and of course to bad breath. Smoking can also decrease your appetite predisposing you to malnutrition.

ENDOCRINE SYSTEM
Smoking has harmful effects on insulin function thus increasing the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Cortisol lowers the effects of nicotine. In high stress situation, when your body produces lots of cortisol you’ll need more nicotine to achieve its desired effects.

REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
Smokers have difficulty achieving orgasm, and the vasoconstriction caused by smoking effects the man’s ability to get an erection. Smoking also increases the risk of infertility and causes menopause earlier than expected.

Pregnant women experience more complications such as premature delivery, miscarriage and placental problems.

 

References:

  • http://www.healthline.com/health/smoking/effects-on-body
  • http://mic.com/articles/110566/more-bad-news-for-smokers-cigarettes-may-make-you-stupid
  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/215420.php
  • http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22630233.800-guilty-pleasures-just-how-bad-is-social-smoking.html
  • http://quitsmoking.about.com/od/chemicalsinsmoke/a/tar_in_cigs.htm
  • Image adapted from: http://workattheyard.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Pictures-Of-Smokers.jpg

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