- June 7, 2019
- Posted by: Dr. Amit Gandhi
- Category: CANCER, Uncategorized
A commonly known fact worldwide is that smoking is hazardous to health. Almost every major ailment is associated with a higher risk among smokers. It is so harmful to the body that can even result in birth defects to an unborn child.
This post gives you insights about the harmful effects of smoking on human bodies so that you can make a firm decision and quit smoking right away.
Smoking – A Preventable yet Leading Cause of Death
Smoking is a leading yet preventable cause of death worldwide. On average thousands and thousands of people across the world die because of smoking. The saddest part is that it even affects those who do not smoke but live with a chain smoker or work in a smoke prone area.
The chances of smoking leading to death are high when the following causes are combined such as:
- Illegal use of drugs
- HIV or Human immunodeficiency virus
- Injuries related to motor vehicle accidents
- Excessive alcohol consumption
The statistics over the year confirms that there are 10 times early death among people who smoke than those who do not practice it. Moreover, smoking is a major cause of the occurrence of pulmonary diseases in humans, which further leads to death. Not only men, but even women, and children who do not smoke are at higher risk of death because of smoking. This is clearly seen as the risk of dying from smoking has increased drastically over the past 50 years.
Smoking – Contributing to Increased Health Risks
Smoking increases the risks of numerous health problems, like:
- Lung cancer – Most of smokers or people who live with smokers have higher chances of experiencing lung cancer.
- Smoking can lead to other severe health issues like asthma, emphysema, colds, and other respiratory ailments. It is even a major cause of cancer of the mouth, esophagus, bladder, or cervix.
- Smoking can cause diseases of blood vessels or heart. It is a contributory factor to heart stroke and high blood pressure.
- Ailments such as high cholesterol and diabetes can occur more prominently in smokers.
- Smoking is also associated with an increased risk for ARMD or Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
Smoking and Pregnant Women
Smoking not just affects pregnant women, but even affects their unborn child. If a woman smokes while she is pregnant, then she can experience various issues such as:
- There are higher chances of losing the baby during pregnancy or experience a miscarriage.
- The newborn child may have a low birth weight.
- The baby may be born with birth defects like ADHD or attention-deficit disorder. The newborn child may also have trouble breathing at birth and experience other respiratory infections, asthma, and ear infections.
- The baby has a higher risk of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.
Smoking and Cardiovascular Ailments
People who smoke are at a higher risk for diseases, which affect the blood vessels and heart.
If you are a smoker, then you have higher chances of experiencing a stroke and coronary heart ailment. Even if you smoke less, still, you may experience early signs of cardiovascular ailments as compared to non-smokers.
Smoking causes severe damage to the blood vessels. It can make them grow narrower or thicken them. As a result, your heart may beat much faster and you may suffer from high blood pressure problems.
Blockages within the blood vessels caused by smoking can also decrease blood flow to your skin and legs.
Smoking and Respiratory Ailments
Lung is a major internal organ that is severely affected by smoking. It is because smoke directly enters into the lungs and damages the airways and small air sacs within the lungs.
One major lung ailment caused by smoking includes COPD such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking also causes lung cancer. If a person already has asthma or consumes tobacco then smoking can trigger the attacks and make things worse.
Smoking and Cancer
The worst yet a major truth is that smoking can lead to cancer. Even, smoking can cause cancer to anywhere in the body.
- Rectum and colon
- Ureter and kidney
- Bronchus, lung, and trachea
Smoking and Major Health Risks
With an increasing number of smokers, the latest studies have found that smoking can result in major health consequences.
1. Type2 Diabetes
Smoking is a major contributor to Type 2 diabetes and it increases the risks of complications from the ailment, including the poor flow of blood to feet and legs. This can result in infection and cause the limb to amputate.
2. Going Blind
Smoking can affect your eyes to a great extent. It increases the risks of age-related blindness or macular degeneration, which is a major cause of blindness in people over 65 years of age.
3. Ectopic Pregnancy
This is a life-threatening reproductive issue in women, which is commonly found in smokers. This issue occurs when a fertilized egg implants anywhere in the body other than the uterus. In this case, the egg is not able to survive and it can also put the mother’s life at risk.
4. Erectile Dysfunction
Smoking can have a major impact on the sexual organ of a male. Tobacco leads to narrowing of blood vessels all over the body, including those that pass the blood to the male organs. As a result, men who smoke are at higher risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction.
5. Colorectal Cancer
This is the cancer of rectum or colon, which occurs in the intestines. It is a leading cause of death due to cancer. Smoking has a direct link to developing and dying because of this kind of cancer.
6. Hip Fractures
Fractures of the body may occur primarily in people who smoke. It is because smoking tends to lose the bone density of people at a faster pace that puts them at risk for breaking body parts such as the hip. Quitting smoking can slow down the process and help maintain bone density.
7. Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip
These are birth defects that are commonly known as orofacial clefts. They occur when the mouth or lip of a baby does not develop properly during pregnancy. Women who smoke are more likely to have babies with such a defect.
8. Rheumatoid Arthritis
It is a chronic inflammatory ailment that is commonly found in women. It affects the feet and joints of a person. This disease leads to loss of bone and can lead to joint deformity. Women who smoke are at a higher risk of experiencing this ailment.
9. Diseases of the Gums
Losing a limb is not enough and with smoking, a person is at a higher risk of losing the teeth. It is because smoking leads to periodontitis, which is a gum infection that destroys the bone supporting the teeth.
10. Fertility Ailments
Smoking can affect a person’s ability to conceive. It leads to reduced fertility in females and can contribute to other ailments during pregnancy.
Quitting smoking is quite difficult as those who are chain smokers feel strong cravings to smoke. However, there are certain practices that you can follow in order to quit smoking.
- Stop buying cigarettes at once. Avoid keeping cigarettes with you, be it your home or office.
- Stay away from those who smoke. It is best to avoid being in a company of smokers. This will keep you away from smoking.
- Ask for support from friends and family. You can ask for their encouragement and ask them for support.
- Avoid being or doing things that involve smokers. Try to join new clubs or practice new activities that can keep you away from smoking.
- Begin an exercise program. When you will become fit, your body would not want nicotine effects. For this reason, it is essential to become fit in order to avoid feeling depressed.
- Engage yourself in positive activities. Play puzzle, chew gums or eat celery or carrots.
- Join a quit-smoking club, which will make it easier for you to quit smoking.
- Use nicotine patches or gums to curb down your craving for smoking.
- It is best to consult a doctor and consume adequate medicines to quit smoking.
When you will try to quit smoking, you will experience some withdrawal symptoms such as increased appetite, trouble sleeping, and more craving for nicotine, shakiness, irritability, and trouble concentrating. But feel positive, as the withdrawal symptoms will soon go away and you will feel better. You will soon feel more energized, improved flow of blood in the body, glowing skin, and a healthy gut and body.
Quitting smoking is good for your health. So start with it today to learn to live a new life, which is ‘smoke-free.’