The ingredients of tobacco smoke are chemically active. They can start dramatic and fatal changes in the body. There are over 4,000 chemicals, which can be damaging to the smoker's body. They include tar, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide, metals, ammonia, and radioactive compounds.
Disadvantages & Bad Effects of Smoking
Scientists and doctors know so much more about the effects of smoking today than ever before. They know smoking causes immediate effects on the smoker's body. It constricts the airways of the lungs. It increases the smoker's heart rate. It elevates the smoker's blood pressure. The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke deprives the tissues of the smoker's body of much-needed oxygen. All of these are dangerous short-term effects.
There are more serious long-term effects as well. Smoked tobacco in the forms of cigarettes, pipes, and cigars causes lung cancers, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases. In fact, smoking causes ninety percent of all lung cancer cases. Twenty percent of heavy smokers get the chronic lung disease called emphysema, which causes the narrowing, and clogging of the airway passages in the lungs. This disease is seldom seen in nonsmokers. Smokers are also at least four times more likely to develop oral and laryngeal cancer than nonsmokers.
Smoking contributes to heart disease. It increases the risk of stroke by nearly 40% among men and 60% among women. Smoking is an addiction. Tobacco smoke contains nicotine, a drug that is addictive and can make it very hard, but not impossible, to quit. More than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are from smoking-related illnesses. Smoking greatly increases your risks for lung cancer and many other cancers.
Smoking harms not just the smoker, but also family members, coworkers and others who breathe the smoker's cigarette smoke, called secondhand smoke.
Among infants to 18 months of age, secondhand smoke is associated with as many as 300,000 cases of bronchitis and pneumonia each year. Secondhand smoke from a parent's cigarette increases a child's chances for middle ear problems, causes coughing and wheezing, and worsens asthma conditions.
If both parents smoke, a teenager is more than twice as likely to smoke as a young person whose parents are both non-smokers. In households where only one parent smokes, young people are also more likely to start smoking.
Pregnant women who smoke are more likely to deliver babies whose weights are too low for the baby's good health. If all women quit smoking during pregnancy, about 4,000 new babies would not die each year.
Why Quit Smoking?
Quitting smoking makes a difference right away - you can taste and smell food better. Your breath smells better. Your cough goes away. This happens for men and women of all ages, even those who are older. It happens for healthy people as well as those who already have a disease or condition caused by smoking.
Quitting smoking cuts the risk of lung cancer, many other cancers, heart disease, stroke, other lung diseases, and other respiratory illnesses. Ex-smokers have better health than current smokers. Ex-smokers have fewer days of illness, fewer health complaints, and less bronchitis and pneumonia than current smokers.
Quitting smoking saves money. A pack-a-day smoker, who pays $2 per pack can, expect to save more than $700 per year. It appears that the price of cigarettes will continue to rise in coming years, as will the financial rewards of quitting.
Quitting smoking may be hard but not impossible and remember where there is a will there is a way.
Check out the information below to view the list of Bad Effects of Smoking.
Harmful Effects of Smoking
- The harmful health effects of smoking cigarettes presented in the list below only begin to convey the long term side effects of smoking. Quitting makes sense for many reasons but simply put "smoking is bad for your health".
- Smokng Kills - Every year hundreds of thousands of people around the world die from diseases caused by smoking cigarettes. One in two lifetime smokers will die from their habit. Half of these deaths will occur in middle age.
- Tobacco smoke also contributes to a number of cancers.
- The mixture of nicotine and carbon monoxide in each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your heart rate and blood pressure, straining your heart and blood vessels.
- This can cause heart attacks and stroke. It slows your blood flow, cutting off oxygen to your feet and hands. Some smokers end up having their limbs amputated.
- Tar coats your lungs like soot in a chimney and causes cancer. A 20-a-day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.
- Changing to low-tar cigarettes does not help because smokers usually take deeper puffs and hold the smoke in for longer, dragging the tar deeper into their lungs.
- Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.
- Smoking causes disease and is a slow way to die. The strain of smoking effects on the body often causes years of suffering. Emphysema is an illness that slowly rots your lungs. People with emphysema often get bronchitis again and again, and suffer lung and heart failure.
- Lung cancer from smoking is caused by the tar in tobacco smoke. Men who smoke are ten times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers.
- Heart disease and strokes are also more common among smokers than non-smokers.
- Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which leads to heart attack.
- Smoking causes around one in five deaths from heart disease.
- In younger people, three out of four deaths from heart disease are due to smoking.
- Cigarette smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight, prematurity, spontaneous abortion, and perinatal mortality in humans, which has been referred to as the fetal tobacco syndrome.
How Smoking Affects the Body
There's hardly a part of the human body that's not affected by the chemicals in the cigarettes you smoke. Let's take a tour of your body to look at how smoking affects it.
As a smoker, you're at risk for cancer of the mouth. Tobacco smoke can also cause gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. The teeth become unsightly and yellow. Smokers may experience frequent headaches. And lack of oxygen and narrowed blood vessels to the brain can lead to strokes.
Moving down to your chest, smoke passes through the bronchi, or breathing tubes. Hydrogen cyanide and other chemicals in the smoke attack the lining of the bronchi, inflaming them and causing that chronic smoker's cough. Because the bronchi are weakened, you're more likely to get bronchial infections. Mucus secretion in your lungs is impaired, also leading to chronic coughing. Smokers are 10 times as likely to get lung cancer and emphysema as nonsmokers.
The effects of smoking on your heart are devastating. Nicotine raises blood pressure and makes the blood clot more easily. Carbon monoxide robs the blood of oxygen and leads to the development of cholesterol deposits on the artery walls. All of these effects add up to an increased risk of heart attack. In addition, the poor circulation resulting from cholesterol deposits can cause strokes, loss of circulation in fingers and toes and impotence.
The digestive system is also affected. The tars in smoke can trigger cancer of the esophagus and throat. Smoking causes increased stomach acid secretion, leading to heartburn and ulcers. Smokers have higher rates of deadly pancreatic cancer. Many of the carcinogens from cigarettes are excreted in the urine where their presence can cause bladder cancer, which is often fatal. High blood pressure from smoking can damage the kidneys.
The health effects of smoking have results we can measure. Forty percent of men who are heavy smokers will die before they reach retirement age, as compared to only 18 percent of nonsmokers. Women who smoke face an increased risk of cervical cancer, and pregnant women who smoke take a chance with the health of their unborn babies.
But the good news is that when you quit smoking your body begins to repair itself. Ten years after you quit, your body has repaired most of the damage smoking caused. Those who wait until cancer or emphysema has set in are not so lucky - these conditions are usually fatal. It's one more reason to take the big step and quit smoking now.
Many smokers do not realize that there are actually substance abuse treatment programs designed to help them quit the bad habit of smoking.
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