According to the studies carried out by U.S Department of Health and Human Services, more than 10 times as many as U.S citizens lost their lives prematurely due to tobacco smoking. Cigarette smoking has caused more than 480,000 deaths each year in America which is around almost one in five deaths. Surprisingly, these figures are much more in comparison to those who died in all the wars fought by American soldiers in their history. Further you would be more shocked to know, about 80% of all deaths from chronic obstruction pulmonary disease (COPD) is mainly caused by smoking. The list does not end here. It is estimated, smoking is major responsible for about 90% of all lung disorders both in men and women, where women are more prone to lung cancer due to smoking than in comparison to breast cancer also. Overall to state, worldwide surveys has reported tobacco smoking has increased significantly over past 50 years in men and women taking thousands of lives every year. After acquiring this critical information, I hope it enlightens you how smoking can really ruins your life and motivates you to quit. Let’s gather some more information about the tobacco and how does it affects each and every part of our body.
Tobacco is a plant (genus Nicotiana) which belongs to the family of Solanaceae. The leaves of tobacco plant are dried and used in cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and flavoured tobacco. Tobacco contains the most potent drug known as nicotine, which stimulates the same areas of brain as cocaine and amphetamines, releasing adrenaline which gives the buzz of pleasure and energy. This feeling makes the person addictive to this nicotine drug. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, each of with affect some or other part of body causing mild to serious health issues. Some of the major health risk associate with tobacco smoking are:
10) Effect of smoking on Skin
Smoking can cause premature aging and wrinkling of skin as the toxic chemicals presents in smoke when enter body blocks the adequate amount of oxygen supply to skin, making it dull and lifeless. In some these chemicals can also lead to cellulite condition of skin
9) Smoking affect Digestive system
Smoking is proved to link with irritation and inflammation of stomach and intestines which can result in painful ulcers formation within the digestive system. And studies have even shown, smokers are at more risk of developing stomach and intestine cancer in comparison to non-smokers. In some, smoking causes a severe digestive problem known as reflux of acids which happens because nicotine in tobacco weakens the muscles of the gut causing the acid from stomach to move in wrong and opposite directions causing the imbalance in overall digestive system of the body.
8) Smoking affects Blood circulation
So when you smoke, the toxins chemicals present in cigarette enters your blood system and damages your blood cells causing mutation and in worst situation leads to blood cancer. It makes your blood thicker which result in increased chance of clot formation. It causes narrowing of your arteries, reducing sufficient amount of oxygen supply to heart, brain and other organs of the body. This in turn result in increase of blood pressure and heart beat which makes heart weak.
7) Smoking affects Oral Health
Smoking and use of tobacco are mainly responsible for affecting the overall oral health and are linked with various dental problems. The symptoms varies from mild like tooth discolouration, bad breath, cavities formation to severe conditions such as inflammation in salivary gland, less bone density in jaw, and increased risk of gum diseases. Tooth ache and tooth infection are the common signs of smoking which ultimately leads to tooth removal whereas in some cases, there are chances of leukoplakia which causes white patches in mouth. And if you are regular smoker then you are at higher chances of developing oral cancer.
6) Effect of smoking on Musculoskeletal Health
There is a strong relation also between smoking and musculoskeletal health of a person. It is believed, smokers can develop higher chances of developing bone and joint injuries such as lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis than non-smokers. Continuous smoking can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis which is a disease of bone and joints causing weakness and fractures. The nicotine found in cigarettes affects the production of osteoblast (bone –forming cells) thus decreasing the overall bone mass density. This chemical also decreases the calcium absorption, which is an essential mineral for bone formation making bones weak and fragile. Smoking also has effects on other parts of musculoskeletal tissues like tendons, cartilage, ligaments making them prone to injury and bone diseases.
5) Effect of smoking on Pregnancy and Child birth
Women smokers experience more complications and problems during conception and pregnancy as compared to non-smokers. Maternal smoking can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth. It also significantly affects the child’s health such as low birth weight, being overweight in some cases, development of diabetes, heart stroke, high blood pressure and other heart problems. Paternal too can have adverse effect on fetus growth if the mother is exposed to second-hand smoke continuously.
4) Effect of smoking on Reproductive System and Fertility
Smoking affect reproductive system and various reproductive organs of both in men and women. In men it is the main culprit for developing fertility problems and impotency (erectile dysfunction) and lower sperm count. And the severity of disease increases as longer you smoke and more the cigarettes you smoke. Nicotine in smoke can contribute to development of atherosclerosis in men which causes hardening of the arteries that supply blood to reproductive organs and in some result in vasospasm i.e. temporary constriction of the penile arteries thus causing insufficient supply of blood to reproductive organs thus hampering their proper development and functioning. Females who are tobacco smokers experience menstrual cycle abnormalities, absence of menstruation, reduced fertility and early onset of menopause cycle. Smoking can also lead to cervical and breast cancer in women who smoke regularly.
3) Effect of smoking on the Cardiovascular System
Smoking is a major cause of heart related diseases such as coronary heart problems and strokes affecting people of any age. About 20% of deaths which occurred due to heart diseases are caused by smoking addiction. It is estimated that one who smokes around 5 or more cigarettes are prone to early signs of cardiovascular diseases. The effects of nicotine on heart starts by first damaging the blood vessel making them thickening in some places and growing narrower, which further result in faster heart beat and fluctuation in blood pressure. Clots are formed which prevent sufficient amount of blood supply to heart resulting eventually in heart stroke. Therefore stokes happens when formation of blood clot in blood vessel blocks the blood flow to brain and other parts of body. Now the worst part of smoking is that not only smokers but non-smokers (passive smoke or second-hand smoke) also have high risk of developing coronary heart problems when get exposed to environmental tobacco smoke, especially children. So, remember when you smoke, it’s not only spoiling your health but your dear ones also get affected.
2) Effect of smoking on the Respiratory System
Smoking has dangerous effects on entire lung organ, affecting its every structure and functioning. It mainly causes decreases its defensive power of lung organ, making prone to number of lung disorders and lung injury that can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). Reports have indicated smokers die 12 to 13 more due to COPD than non-smokers. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the two types of COPD, where chronic bronchitis leads to severe inflammation of bronchi (large air pathways), characterised by mucus formation and in emphysema lungs alveoli (air sacs) are affected resulting in difficulty in breathing, more coughing, fatigue, weight loss, depression and heart problems. As mentioned earlier, as nicotine impair the total immunity of lung system, increasing the risk of viral attack on upper respiratory tract which include nose and pharynx and bacterial on lower part that mainly includes larynx. Both this lead to acute bronchitis problems, bronchiolitis and some are diagnosed with pneumonia. Second hand smoke can also cause discomfort in chest, breathing uneasiness, mainly in children and infants exposed continuously to tobacco fumes.
1) Effect of smoking on entire body organs causing Cancer
The most dangerous effect of nicotine on body is the number of cancers that it can cause in our body. As we know, cancer is an abnormal growth of cells resulting in lumps, masses and malignant tumors and smokers are mainly prone to this abnormal cell formation as nicotine fumes are found to be the major culprit in damaging and mutating genes in tissues and cells. You will be shocked to know, smoking can cause cancer to almost every part of human body making you terribly weak and helpless. The list of organs is very long and it includes: lungs, liver, kidney, urethra, colon, rectum, cervix, bladder, blood, esophagus, orophagus (throat, tongue, soft palate, and tonsils), stomach, pancreas and bone marrow. It is also found to attack breasts, gastrointestinal, urinary and reproductive system too, especially more in females causing cancers of these organs. Among the all, lung cancer is the most common form of cancer as this organ is mostly exposed to nicotine fumes. The data says one in three cancer deaths are only due to smoking thus increases the risk of dying in cancer patients and in survivors.
It is so horrifying and disturbing to see that those fumes in tobacco has potential to affect almost each and every part of human body, but you should also remember that most of the effects of tobacco are reversible. By avoiding or quitting smoking and taking proper medication on time can reduce the risk of occurring these dreadful diseases and also from dangerous effects such as death.
Quit Smoking …And Live Long!