The 14 Disastrous Health Effects Of Smoking

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Every single organ in the body is harmed. Nothing is left unscathed. THAT is how dangerous smoking is. There is absolutely no good that can come from smoking. Cigarettes and cigars ought to be made illegal, worldwide.

Did you know that in the UK alone, 430 children start smoking EVERY DAY!? That is how terrible the situation is becoming. I believe education, about the dangerous bad health effects of smoking, is one of the few effective ways to convince the young ones to not pick up the habit.

  1. Death
  2. 1 cigarette reduces 11 minutes of your life. Which is why smokers are 3x more likely than a nonsmoker to die by the age of 65.

  3. Cancer
    • Lung
    • The risk of dying from lung cancer before age 85 is 22.1% for a male smoker and 11.9% for a female smoker. In the United States, smoking accounts for nearly 90% of lung cancer cases.

    • Kidney
    • The kidney is the body’s organ responsible for filtering waste out of our system in the form of urine. Nicotine contains harmful chemicals like tar that damages the kidney. That is why smokers are 2x more likely than a nonsmoker to get kidney cancer.

    • Throat
    • Smokers risk damaging the genetic material (DNA) of cells in tissues in the throat. Even the heat carried by the smoke contributes to destroying the smoker’s throat. Which is why smoking accounts for almost 80% of cases of throat cancer. Smokers are 3.5 times more likely to develop throat cancer, especially of the larynx, than nonsmokers.

    • Head And Neck
    • Head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the inside surfaces of the mouth, nose, and throat. Head and neck cancers can also begin in the salivary glands that contain many different types of cells that can become cancerous. At least 75% of head and neck cancers are caused by tobacco use.

    • Breast
    • It has been proven that smoking and secondhand smoke harms your breast health regardless of age. Women, especially those who start smoking early in life, are 20% more likely to develop breast cancer than nonsmoking women.

    • Bladder
    • Since nicotine is released into the bloodstream and is water soluble, it can be found in all of our body fluids like saliva and especially urine which can stay in the bladder for hours before it is emptied. Know this. The older a person gets, the harder it is to empty the bladder. Smokers are 2x as likely to get bladder cancer than nonsmokers. Although women get bladder cancer too, it is more common in men and of those men who die from the disease, 80% were smokers.

    • Esophagus
    • Carcinogens found in smoke interferes with normal cellular processes and causes the cells to divide uncontrollably and ultimately cause tumors. As smoke is inhaled through the esophagus EVERY TIME, the risk of cancer increases. Tobacco accounts for approximately 90% of all esophageal squamous cell carcinomas.

    • Pancreas
    • Brilliant actor Patrick Swayze and comedian Bill Hicks died from pancreatic cancer. Both are heavy smokers especially Patrick Swayze who continued smoking even after being diagnosed. There is no effective screening test for pancreatic cancer. Which means it is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, contributing to a 5 year survival rate of less than 5%.

    • Stomach
    • A very important but preventable cause of stomach cancer is tobacco smoking. Smoking increases the risk of developing stomach cancer considerably, from 40% increased risk for current smokers to 82% increase for heavy smokers!

    • Blood Cell
    • Myeloid leukemia is a cancer of the myeloid line of blood cells, characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. In the US, about 22% in men and 11% in women of all acute myeloid leukemia deaths are associated with smoking.

    • Skin
    • Smoking may not only cause wrinkles and sagging skin but it also increases your risk of squamous cell carcinoma, one of the major forms of skin cancer. Smokers have a 52% increase in their risk of squamous cell cancer.

    • Liver
    • Researchers from the US and Europe found that almost 50% of liver cancer patients in their study were associated with smoking.

    • Colon
    • 40% increased risk of developing colon or rectal cancer compared to nonsmokers.

    • Gallbladder
    • Gallbladder cancer is a relatively uncommon cancer. It has peculiar geographical distribution being common in central and South America, central and eastern Europe, Japan and northern India. Cigarettes contain nitrosamines, chemicals that can damage DNA and increase the risk of developing cancer.

    • Adrenal gland
    • Adrenal glands, that sit atop the kidney, are mainly responsible for releasing hormones in response to stress. Cancer of the adrenal glands is rare but aggressive. Relative to nonsmokers in the US, the risk of getting adrenal gland cancer is 5x more and even worse for smokers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day!

    • Cervix
    • The more you smoke, the more your risk of getting cervical cancer goes up. Not only that, there is also a huge association with secondhand smoke. Even three or four hours a day of passive smoke raises your risk.

  4. Pulmonary
  5. COPD aka chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the occurrence of chronic bronchitis or emphysema, a pair of commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs, causing shortness of breath. COPD is permanent, incurable and more often than not, terminal. In the US, almost 90% of cases of COPD are due to smoking.

  6. Cardiovascular
    • Heart
    • Your heart and blood vessels respond almost immediately to tobacco smoke. Within 1 minute, the heart rate rises, intensifying to as much as 30% within the first 10 minutes of smoking.

      Several ingredients of tobacco lead to the narrowing of blood vessels, increasing the likelihood of a blockage, and thus a heart attack or stroke. According to a study by an international team of researchers, people under 40 are 5x more likely to have a heart attack if they smoke.

    • Bloodstream
    • With the inhalation of smoke comes the absorption of deadly carbon monoxide (CO) into the bloodstream. Carbon monoxide binds to the hemoglobin in red blood cells 200x more effectively than oxygen, thus replacing massive amounts of oxygen in the blood with this poisonous gas. This causes the heart to work harder and can lead to a host of diseases. Nicotine also increases the heart’s need for oxygen at the same time CO is depriving oxygen. Prolonged CO exposure from cigarette smoke increases the risk of

      heart disease,

      stroke,

      atherosclerosis, and

      peripheral vascular disease.

    • Muscle Cardiac Cell
    • Cigarette smoke also influences the process of cell division in the cardiac muscle and changes the heart’s shape.

    • Secondhand Smoke
    • There is no such thing as risk free level when it comes to secondhand smoke. Even short exposures can cause blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability, potentially increasing the risk of heart attack. Back in 1980, research by Philip Morris already found second hand smoke toxic but the findings were kept secret until the year 2000.

    • Cholesterol
    • Smoking increases blood cholesterol levels. The ratio of HDL (good cholesterol) to LDL (bad cholesterol) is usually lower in smokers than nonsmokers. Nicotine impacts blood vessel health that leads to the development of atherosclerosis, or build up of cholesterol streaks in the blood vessels. Nicotine injures blood vessel walls, which in turn allows LDL cholesterol to attach itself to the lining of blood vessels. The accumulation of LDL cholesterol in blood vessels leads to narrowing of blood vessels, which decreases blood flow to your

      arms and legs (gangrene),

      heart (heart attack)and

      brain (stroke).

    • Blood Thickness
    • The blood of a smoker is usually more sticky due to raised fibrinogen and platelet counts, both that play the role of coagulating blood.

  7. Renal/Kidney
  8. Smokers risk getting chronic kidney disease, a progressive loss in renal function over a period of time. Long time smokers risk diabetic nephropathy, damaged kidneys caused by diabetes.

  9. Flu
  10. Heavy smokers of more than 20 cigarettes a day are 21% more prone than non smokers to catch a flu. Also, flu gets worse with smoking.

    Anti viral responses to flu is not only defective but over exaggerating as well. It’s like using a sledgehammer instead of a fly swatter to get rid of a fly.

  11. Oral
    • Teeth
    • Almost 90% of patients affected with periodontitis, a set of inflammatory diseases affecting the tissues that surround and support the teeth, are smokers.

      Smokers are 2-3 times more likely than non smokers to lose their teeth.

      Smokers have stained teeth.

    • Breath
    • Smokers have bad breath.

    • Taste
    • Nicotine has the power to suppress nerve activity in areas of the brain that are associated with the sensation of taste. Nicotine itself is bitter and contains an irritant sensation that works the same way as the burning sensation of capsaicin found in chili peppers. Also, when nicotine enters the brain, areas responsible for feeding are activited, prompting interaction with other parts involved directly with taste. This act inhibits nerve cells that are in charge for generating the sensation of taste.

  12. Infection
    • Organ
    • Tuberculosis aka TB, is an infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs, but it can also affect organs in the central nervous system, lymphatic system, and circulatory system among others. In the past it was called “consumption” because of the way it would consume from within anyone who became infected. 61% of TB deaths are attributed to smoking.

    • Immune System
    • Smoking damages the immune system, increasing the risk of pulmonary and respiratory tract infections. CD4+, cells that send signals activate your body’s immune response when they detect viruses and bacteria, increases when you smoke due to nicotine which has tentatively been linked to increased HIV susceptibility.

      Kaposi’s sarcoma is a systemic disease that can be present with cutaneous lesions with or without internal involvement.

  13. Impotence
  14. Smokers have an 85% risk of experiencing impotence compared to non smokers because nicotine narrows the arteries that lead to the penis, reducing blood flow and pressure in the penis. This narrowing effect increases over time, so if you haven’t got problems now, things could change later.

  15. Female Infertility
  16. Nicotine and other harmful chemicals in cigarettes disrupts the body’s ability to create estrogen, the hormone responsible for regulating the process of ovarian follicle maturation and ovulation. Certain damages to the embryo transport, endometrial receptivity, endometrial angiogenesis, uterine blood flow and the uterine myometrium due to smoking are irreversible!

  17. Pregnancy
  18. Smoking while pregnant accounts for 25% of low birthweight babies, 14% for premature birth cases and 10% of infant deaths. Maternal smoking has also been linked to asthma among infants and young children. Children whose mothers smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day face double the risk in developing asthma.

    Beware as even nicotine replacement therapy like gums and patches will affect the baby!

  19. Psychological
  20. Yes, smoking reduces stress BUT only while smoking. Most smokers, when denied access to nicotine, become easily irritable, jittery, experience dry mouth and rapid heart beat. Nicotine’s half life is 2 hours, prompting a relatively fast onset of the above symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can appear even if the smoker’s consumption is very limited or irregular, appearing after only 4–5 cigarettes in most adolescents.

    Smokers who smoke to alleviate depression are the hardest hit as their withdrawal symptoms are greater. As a result, they are the least successful when it comes to quitting and are most likely to relapse.

  21. Social and Behavioral
  22. Did you know that if you smoke, there is a 53% chance that your marriage will end up in divorce?

  23. The Brain
  24. Compared with non-smokers, those who had smoked more than two packs of cigarettes a day had more than a 157% increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and 172% increased risk of vascular dementia. Vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, is a group of dementia syndromes caused by conditions affecting the blood supply to the brain.

Conclusion

Love yourself. Love your dad, mom, brother, sister, husband, wife, children and everyone else precious around you. Find out more about the negative effects of nicotine. May the awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco coupled with your genuine concern be a motivation to stop smoking before it is too late.

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