Of all substances that are smoked, tobacco is the most common substance that is smoked and which you may possibly be smoking. It is very important to note that cigarette smoking has serious health effects that you should be aware of in order to take remedial measures before it is too late. According to World Health Organization statistics, tobacco use accounted for slightly over 5 million human deaths worldwide in 2004 alone. More than 100 million people have lost their lives to smoking in the 20th century.
From the growing fields, tobacco is cured and mixed with other additives. When you buy cigarettes and smoke, you inhale the smoke containing the different tobacco ingredients and those of additives into your lungs. The chemicals trigger a chain of reactions in your nerves, resulting in increased heart rate, alertness and memory amongst other things. This causes irresistible pleasure that you cannot avoid; you become addicted to smoking. After addiction, you have to smoke for your body to function. This is what smoking does to you, something that according to WHO has gotten about 1.22 billion people hooked to cigarette smoking worldwide as at now.
Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 known chemical compounds out of which 200 have been identified to be poisonous to your body. Out of the 200, about 60 have been identified to cause cancer. This makes cigarette smoking the most dangerous avoidable lifestyle you can indulge in. Note that even though you may not be smoking directly, you may be smoking passively if you have friends who smoke near you. Some scientists in fact indicate that it is more dangerous to inhale second-hand cigarette smoke. The health effects of smoking cigarettes are not restricted to a particular area or part of your body. The whole of your body is affected. Let us have a look how you are affected healthwise, from your hair to your toes:
The first and most obvious effects of smoking to your body are your kind of body odour. Your body odour smells of tobacco. Since smoke goes up when you smoke, your hair is not only stained but smells as well. Cigarette smoke is the leading cause of gum disease amongst smokers. Your teeth become loose and discolored. With gum disease, developing of plaque on your teeth is bound to occur. Smoking reduces your sense of taste and you may not eat well, which leads to malnutrition. While you may be used to your breath, note that it is definitely that of cigarettes, foul smell. Cigarette smoking is associated with the occurrence of a number of cancers. Such include cancer of the mouth, lips, throat, larynx, lung, liver, colon, stomach, bladder, pancreas, kidney and cervical cancer. In addition, smoking causes stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Health Effects of Smoking
- Smoking has serious health effects on your respiratory tract, lungs and your heart. Your chances of developing bronchitis and emphysema increase tremendously. You are likely to develop asthma. Your condition can become worse if you have Tuberculosis.
- Smoking increases the frequency of suffering from common ailments including colds and flu.
- As cigarette smoke enters your lungs, the normal cell division is interfered with, resulting in lung cancer.
- Your chances of heart attack increase because cigarette smoke weakens the arteries leading to your heart. Your brain chemistry literally changes and the possibility of suffering from stroke increases dramatically.
- Cigarette smoking has serious health effects on your reproductive health as a woman.
- Smoking weakens your body’s immune system, exposing you various diseases and illnesses.
- Apart from causing obesity, smoking is one of the causes of early menopause, which can set in as early as at 30 years.
- Smoking when pregnant is associated with varied problems. The possibility of spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy and premature birth increases. If you carry the pregnancy to term, it is possible to have still birth, low weight infant and giving birth to a child with deformities.
- Smoking in menopause can seriously worsen your already precarious body condition. Menopause is known to affect your bones. Smoking too leads to osteoporosis.
Smoking is now a major problem in many jurisdictions in the world. Because of its serious health effects, many jurisdictions have now enacted legislations that govern the manufacturing, packaging, advertising, sale and consumption of tobacco products. The best you can do is to stop smoking at all costs. While it is true that it is difficult to stop smoking, it is also true that many have stopped and changed their lives for the better. Consult your doctor who should be in a better position to refer you to local tobacco support groups that assist those who wish to stop smoking. Note that you cannot stop smoking on your own support.