Side Effects of Smoking Cigarettes: Unveiling the Dangers

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Side Effects of Smoking

Side effects of Smoking Cigarettes

Introduction

Tobacco smoking is harmful to health. No matter how you take tobacco, it will not spare you from its harmful effects—tobacco chewing and smoking all these lead to nicotine addiction. 

 

Smoking is now proven to be related to an 8 times higher risk of developing lung cancer. It is related not only to lung cancer but to different types of cancer in the body.

Smoking is a double-edged sword because, on one side, it causes so many harmful health effects; on the other, it is so addictive that you can’t quit easily. In this Article we will discuss the side effects of Smoking Cigarettes.

 

Respiratory system 

When you are smoking, you are inhaling alot of substances damaging your lung. It is destroying the lungs’ capacity to fight infections, clear everyday smoke, and, most importantly, lung function to exchange fresh air instead of carbon dioxide in the body.

The various diseases that smoking causes are:

 

  • Bronchitis: inflammation of air tubes that causes recurrent cough

  • Emphysema: the elastic capacity of air sacs destroys, and air exchange is hampered

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): is a group of diseases that causes respiratory difficulty and poor life quality.

  • Tuberculosis

  • Lung cancer

 

You are young and quit smoking today. Your body will start healing from day 1, which may completely heal and become expected as a nonsmoker lung in 1-2 years. You have hope for a better life.

If you are middle-aged/older and quit smoking, your body will also heal, but the permanent damage already done can’t be healed. The recovery will be towards better lungs and as much as 80% of normal nonsmoker lungs.

You must visit a physician if you are willing to quit smoking.

Cardiovascular System and Heart

Smoking increases the risk of significant vessel atherosclerosis and small vessel disease. Additionally, cigarette smoking increases the risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction) and sudden cardiac death. You are at higher risk of coronary artery bypass surgery or a stent. Your health status will decrease if you already have any heart disease. 

Smoking increases blood pressure and blood clot formation, which causes heart attack and stroke in many nondiabetic populations of middle age.

 

Quit smoking will decrease the risk of a second heart attack within 6-12 months. After 2-4 years of quitting smoking, the heart attack rate decreases drastically; following 15 years, the risk becomes approximately equal to those who never smoked.

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Digestive system

Smoking causes the most common problem, which is constipation. It causes hyperacidity because it breaks the stomach’s protective layer, preventing stomach injury from the acid present. With prolonged hyperacidity, it can lead to ulcers in the stomach (peptic ulcer).  

Smoking via mouth increases the risk of infection (bacterial, fungal) in the mouth and increases the risk of lip, tongue, and mouth cancer.

Smoking causes various types of digestive tract cancer, for example: 

  • Oral cancer

  • Oesophageal (food pipe) cancer

  • Stomach cancer

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Colon cancer

  • Smoking causes the early start of various chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, etc.

 

Central nervous system

One of the components of tobacco is nicotine which has mood-alleviating properties. Nicotine has addictive properties, which makes a person craves it again and again, which makes it difficult for a person to quit smoking.

Withdrawal from nicotine causes a lack of concentration, fatigue, forgetfulness, anxiety, irritation, and depression. It also causes frequent headaches and sleep problems.

 

Skin, hair, nails

Skin signs are the most apparent changes seen during smoking. Research shows it increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer).

Nails don’t have an immune system, so nail changes occur frequently. Nail changes lead to fungal nail infections.

Smoking leads to increased hair loss, balding and hair greying.

 

Sex and pregnancy

Smoking reduces sexual performance. It decreases libido in both males and females. In males, it causes erectile dysfunction, and in females, it causes increased sexual dissatisfaction. It is also related to PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease) in females.

 

Smoking during pregnancy causes abortion, congenital disorders in children (congenital disabilities), premature delivery, and higher rates of spontaneous death of infants. It also causes various respiratory diseases in the future life of newborns.

 

Drug interaction and failures

If you are on specific drugs and smoking, then drug effects could be decreased due to smoking. For example:

  • Bp-lowering drugs are non-effective

  • Oral contraceptive drug failure

  • Anticancer drugs failure

  • Insulin absorption is delayed, so the failure of the drug

  • Failure of psychotic drugs 

 

Conclusion

Smoking is injurious to health. It has various ill effects on our body, each system, and the whole body. It causes weakness, fatigue and decreases our ability to function correctly. Smoking has ill effects from head to toe, from nail to brain, and we all know this, but still, people smoke. It is due to the addictive effect of nicotine present in tobacco. 

People are dying every day because of heart disease and stroke, and about 24%of heart disease and 11% of strokes are caused by smoking-related causes. 

The world is facing diabetes and hypertension as a pandemic of non-communicable diseases. About 422 million people have diabetes, and about 1.13 billion have hypertension. This is a considerable disease burden, and smoking adds no.  

So we advise you to quit smoking as it has short-term and long-term sound effects on the body and the whole community. You can start with alot of methods to quit smoking, like using nicotine gums, lozenges, e-cigarettes, etc. If you cannot quit smoking, meet a doctor for this. Visit your nearest smoking cessation center to get help with this. 

A quick question to you.

How many cigarettes do you smoke per day?

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