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Harmful effects of smoking

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Harmful effects of smoking

Smoking is a practice in which a substance (mainly dried leaves of tobacco) is burned and the resulting smoke breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream. Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.

Smoking generally has negative health effects, because smoke inhalation inherently poses challenges to various physiologic processes such as respiration. Diseases related to tobacco smoking have been shown to kill approximately half of long-term smokers when compared to average mortality rates faced by non-smokers. Smoking caused over five million deaths a year from 1990 to 2015.

Harmful effects of smoking are as follows:

  • Mortality : Smoking causes about 90% of all lung cancer deaths.
    • More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.
    • Smoking causes about 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
    • Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women.
  • Cancer : Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia (1-3).
  • Cardiovascular disease: Smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which includes coronary heart disease and stroke. Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build up of fatty material (atheroma) which narrows the artery. The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood.
  • Influenza : Persons that smoke are more likely to suffer from the flu than nonsmokers! Research shows an increase in influenza (flu) infections among smokers compared to nonsmokers.
    • Smoking is causally related to chronic coughing and wheezing, bronchitis and emphysema in adults.
  • Oral: Risk for tobacco-related diseases, including those affecting your oral health, depends on how long you’ve smoked and the number of cigarettes smoked each day.  It can also weaken your sense of taste and sense of smell, so food may become less enjoyable.
    • Oral cancer
    • Periodontal gum disease
    • Bad breath
    • Stained teeth
  • Infection : Tobacco smoke exposure increases respiratory tract infections, including
    • Tuberculosis,
    • Pneumonia
    • Legionnaires disease;
      • Bacterial vaginosis and sexually transmitted diseases, such as
        • chlamydia and
        • gonorrhoea;
        • Helicobacter pylori  and infection; periodontitis; meningitis; otitis media; and post-surgica
  • Impotence : smoking can damage your blood vessels, and ED is often a result of poor arterial blood supply to the penis. Which leads to Erectile dysfunction (ED), also called impotence
  • Female infertility: Smokers take longer to conceive than non-smokers and are more likely to have fertility problems. Smokers have an increased risk of infertility
  • Psychological : One of the ingredients in tobacco is a mood-altering drug called nicotine. Nicotine reaches your brain in mere seconds. It’s a central nervous system stimulant, so it makes you feel more energized for a little while. As that effect subsides, you feel tired and crave more. Nicotine is habit forming.
  • Vision problems : Smoking increases risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and poor eyesight
  • Effects skin and hair : The substances in tobacco smoke actually change the structure of your skin. Smoking causes skin discoloration, wrinkles, and premature aging. Your fingernails and the skin on your fingers may have yellow staining from holding cigarettes. Smokers usually develop yellow or brown stains on their teeth. Hair holds on to the smell of tobacco long after you put your cigarette out. It even clings to nonsmokers.
  • Risk of diabetes : Smoking also has an effect on insulin, making it more likely that you’ll develop insulin resistance. That puts you at increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Digestion problems : Smoking also depresses appetite, so you may not be getting all the nutrients your body needs. Withdrawal from tobacco products can cause nausea.

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