Health - General
By: - at August 17, 2013

Health Impacts of Smoking Tobacco - Why You Should Stop Smoking Now

The Overall Impact of Smoking Cigarettes: Some of the Statistics
Quit smoking nowDespite the fact that people are alerted about the consequences of smoking on the sides of cigarette packs, they still ignore the warnings. Smoking is an insidious addiction that, over time, will affect the health of the smoker as well as other members in his household. According to the American Lung Association, almost 50,000 deaths each year are attributed to secondhand smoke.

What’s more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mortality rate for U.S. smokers is triple of what it is for people who’ve never smoked. Death by smoking is entirely preventable. Nevertheless, the habit claims almost 450,000 lives per year, including the people who are exposed to secondhand smoke.

Smoking-related Illnesses
Smoking related illnesses include respiratory and vascular disease, and cancers of the lung, stomach, and esophagus. Smokers are also diagnosed with kidney and bladder cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, pancreatic cancer, and a variety of oral cancers that include the mouth, larynx, and throat.

smoking disease illness concept

According to CDC statistics, people who smoke cut about 10 years off their normal life expectancy.

The Toxins in Tobacco
The American Lung Association also states that cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients that produce over 4,000 types of chemical substances when they are smoked. Around 50 of the chemicals are carcinogenic or toxic. Some of the substances include:

  • Acetone, which is used in nail polish remover
  • Ammonia
  • Nicotine
  • Lead
  • Cadmium – a primary component in battery acid
  • Methanol, used in rocket fuel
  • Carbon monoxide, which is emitted in car exhausts.

The butts that are produced are not healthy either, with the refuse often ending up in storm drains and in the water supply.

cigarette butts

Just a little bit of helpful imagery if you are struggling with a tobacco addiction. Hopefully the next time you reach for a smoke, you will think about all of the aspects of all those little smoke breaks. The trash as well as the cash adds up to one heck of a losing combination.

How Smoking Affects your Physical Appearance 
beautiful woman smoking a cigaretteBesides wreaking havoc on the environmental landscape, the toxins and chemicals in cigarette smoke can also affect the topography of your skin. One article, which appeared in the December 2007 publication of the “Archives of Dermatology,” stated that smoking causes the skin to wrinkle and sag at a quicker rate. When you smoke, you also purse your lips, all which pronounces lines and wrinkling.

Not only that, the smoky residue from a cigarette impacts the looks of your hair. Even smokers who regularly shampoo often display locks that can only be described as dry or dingy. What’s more, one study found that men who smoked experienced hair loss more often than men who refrained from the activity. Unlike its glamorous depiction on the silver screen, smoking, in reality, is a habit that can adversely affect your physical appearance. Smoking will never make you more beautiful, desirable, or sophisticated. In fact in this day and age it tends to have the completely opposite effect. 

Smoking Can Cause More than Stomach Upset
The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearing House states that smoking can cause injury to the digestive system too. Not only does smoking contribute to such disorders as ulcers and heartburn, it increases the risk of getting gallstones or Crohn’s disease. The liver, which filters toxic substances from the body, can be harmed from smoking too.

How Smoking Affects Fertility
Smoking also affects one’s sex life or one’s ability to conceive. According to one report issued by the British Medical Association, women who smoke can decrease their ability to conceive by as much as 40% per cycle. In addition, the habit can affect men too, reducing their sperm counts and sperm mobility. The carbon monoxide in cigarettes can impact the production of testosterone as well.

Smoking and Pregnancy
Smoking can have devastating consequences on unborn babies too. Pregnant women who smoke can deleteriously affect the growth and development of the fetus. Because smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that the body receives, an unborn baby’s health can, in turn, become compromised.

smoking and pregnancy

If you smoke when you’re pregnant, you double the risk of a stillbirth or delivering a baby that is premature or severely underweight.

Learn more about the negative effects of smoking by watching the following video:

Smoking Paradoxes: The Benefits
Needless to say, if you compiled a list on the pros and cons of smoking, you couldn’t find much if anything, good to say about the habit. That being said, there are some smoking paradoxes that scientists have discovered about the nicotine fix.

Smoking, in Some Cases, Offers Joint Protection
While health care practitioners all agree that smoking contributes to heart disease and cancer, some researchers have found that the habit also, in an unexplained way, contributes to health. For example, one Australian study concluded that smokers underwent joint replacement surgery far less often than their non-smoking counterparts. While the researchers could not explain why smoking protected people in this regard, they theorized that nicotine possibly prevented deterioration of the cartilage.

Smokers Have a Lower Risk of Getting Parkinson’s Disease
In addition, numerous studies have shown that those who smoke are less likely to succumb to Parkinson’s disease. Scientists discovered that people who smoked for a longer duration benefited more than individuals who who smoked a lot of cigarettes. Researchers still cannot pinpoint why smokers are less likely to get the disease.

A Catch 22
beautiful woman smoking in halter topOne study showed too that the nicotine found in tobacco smoke acts as an appetite suppressant. Naturally, many smokers are well aware of this fact, and have known it for years. From the time the cigarette was introduced in the marketplace, advertisers often targeted women in this respect.

For example, cigarette ads in the 20s often promised women that smoking would make them streamlined and thin. Naturally, no credible doctor would suggest that his patients lose weight by smoking cigarettes. Smoking is the proverbial Catch 22 when it comes to weight loss. The greatest downside of this so called benefit of smoking is that when smokers try to quit, often they experience temporary weight gain. The fear of gaining weight sometimes outweighs the motivation a smoker has to quit, and they unfortunately succumb to their nicotine cravings. Fighting any addiction is extremely difficult to manage all by yourself. If you have serious intentions of quitting, the best strategy is to consult a doctor and seek some sort of nicotine replacement therapy. Quitting cold turkey can be traumatic for some, and the downside of quitting anything cold turkey is that there is a higher likelihood of relapse. 

How Smoking Affects Children and Pets
So, given the benefits and disadvantages, smoking is still a bad habit that not only affects the smoker but those around him as well. In fact, children who live in the home of a smoker have an increased risk of getting asthma as well as lower respiratory infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

The smoker

Pets, too, can be affected from passive smoke. For instance, dogs that are subjected to secondhand smoke are 50% more likely to get lung or nose cancer. Cats, as well, are profoundly affected, with many felines suffering from lymphoma. When they clean themselves, cats often ingest the smoky residue that leads to the disease.

Overall, An Ill-advised Activity
All in all, smoking is an ill-advised activity, literally and figuratively. If you smoke now, make it your goal to quit, not only to safeguard your own health but the health and well-being of your family. The following video further underscores the benefits of stopping smoking for good:





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