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The Truth About Smoking: 12 Ways Smoking Can Leave You Needing A Doctor

Smoking

Every year, more than 480,000 people die in the United States alone, due to tobacco-related diseases. It is estimated that 1 in 2 smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.

Two poisons in tobacco that affect peoples’ health are Carbon monoxide, which is found in car exhaust fumes and is fatal in large doses. It replaces oxygen in the blood and starves organs of oxygen and stops them from being able to function properly. The other poison is Tar, which is a sticky, brown substance that coats the lungs and affects breathing.

If you want to live a long, healthy life, make sure you’re not a smoker, and remember, it is never too late to stop. Smoking contributes to heart disease, osteoporosis, emphysema, stroke and other chronic lung problems.

It makes breathing during exercise much harder and can make physical activities less appealing. There are even new suggestions that it appears to compromise memory, too.

The good news is that people who quit smoking can repair to a great extent, the damage done. After a smoker quits, the risk of heart disease begins to drop significantly, within a few months, and in five years, it even matches that of someone who never smoked.

Similarly, stroke risk drops to equal that of a nonsmoker within two to four years, and the death rate from colorectal cancer also decreases each year after quitting.

Quitting progressively cuts your risk of dying from cancer-related to smoking.  However, these drops are most marked in those who quit before the age of 50.

Health Effects Caused by Smoking

Smoking is responsible for a heap of other awful diseases.

Here are some health consequences of smoking:

Type 2 Diabetes:

Smoking contributes to type-2 diabetes and increases the risk of complications for the people already suffering from the disease, including poor blood flow to legs and feet.

This poor blood flow can lead to infection and may result in the need to amputate a limb.

Gum Disease:

gum_disease

You can also risk losing your teeth from smoking since smoking contributes to periodontitis, a gum infection that destroys the bone that supports the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth decay and loss in adults.

Going Blind:

Smoking increases your risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 65.

Erectile Dysfunction:

The male sexual function is affected when you smoke, since tobacco causes narrowing of blood vessels all over your body, including those that supply blood to the penis. Fortunately, quitting will make a big difference.

Ectopic Pregnancy:

Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening reproductive complication in women. It is more likely in female smokers and occurs when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus, resulting in the death of the egg and putting mom’s life at serious risk.

Colorectal Cancer:

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer forms in your intestines (colon or rectum), and cigarette smoking is one of the reasons for this cancer.

Furthermore, smoking is linked to an increased risk of developing and dying from colorectal cancer.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints in your hands and feet. It causes painful swelling that can eventually result in bone loss and joint deformity, and smoking is one of the causes. Smoking is also associated with developing the disease at an earlier age.

Bones

Smoking can make bones weak and brittle. This is particularly dangerous for women, who are more prone to osteoporosis and broken bones.

Cardiovascular System

Smoking causes plaque to build up in the blood. These plaques stick to the walls of arteries, making them narrower. The result will be a reduction in blood flow, which increases the risk of clotting.

This narrowing of the arteries makes it harder for blood to flow, as well as increasing blood pressure and heart rate.

Also, chemicals in tobacco smoke increase the chance of heart problems and cardiovascular diseases like Coronary heart disease (narrow or blocked arteries around the heart), Heart attack (smokers are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack), and Heart-related chest pain, caused by the carbon monoxide and nicotine in cigarettes, which make the heart work harder and faster.

Smokers thus find it very difficult to exercise, which bears its own negative effects.

Lungs

Health Effects Caused by Smoking lungsThe lungs are perhaps the most obvious part of the body that is affected by smoking. Smoking can primarily damage the airways and air sacs (known as alveoli) in the lungs and often, a lung disease caused by smoking can take years to manifest. This means it is often not diagnosed until it is quite advanced.

Three of the most common lung diseases of smoking include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which causes wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. It is a long-term disease that worsens over time and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Unfortunately, there is no cure.

Second in the list is chronic bronchitis, which occurs when the airways produce too much mucus. This leads to a cough, as the airways then become inflamed. In time, scar tissue and mucus can completely block the airways and cause infection. Also, there is no cure for chronic bronchitis, but quitting smoking can reduce symptoms.

The third lung disease is emphysema. This health problem reduces the number of sacs in the lungs and breaks down the walls in between, destroying the person’s ability to breathe, even when resting. There is no cure, and in the concluding stages, patients can only breathe using an oxygen mask.

Skin

Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that can reach the skin. This speed up the aging process of the skin and can make the skin dull and gray. Smoking also makes facial wrinkling, particularly around the eyes and mouth, three times more likely.

Cancer

Smoking causes around 30 percent of all cancer deaths (especially, lung cancer), in the United State.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. As well as the lungs, smoking is also a risk factor for these types of cancer, mouth, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus (swallowing tube), kidney, cervix, liver, bladder, pancreas, stomach, colon/rectum, and myeloid leukemia among others. Remember, there is no safe way to use tobacco.

The Benefits Of Quitting

Quitting smoking reduces health risks, and the chances of having a stroke reduce to half of that of a non-smoker in 2 years and the same as a non-smoker in 5 years.

 

Risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder drop by half within 5 years, and the risk for lung cancer drops by half after 10 years.

A year after quitting smoking, the risk of a heart attack is halved, and after 15 years, it is the same as someone who has never smoked.

Overall, once someone stops smoking, their health will tremendously improve and their body will begin to get better.

Summary

There’s no other way to put it, that smoking is bad for your health. Cigarette Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths.

Smoking is also responsible for many other cancers and health problems like lung disease, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke and cataracts as already stated above.

Women who smoke have a higher risk of certain pregnancy problems or having a baby die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

E-cigarettes often look like cigarettes, but they work differently, as they are battery-operated smoking devices, and not much is known about the health risks of using them.

Finally, quitting smoking can reduce your risk of health problems, and the earlier you quit, the earlier and greater the benefit.

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