Health Impacts of Smoking Tobacco - Why You Should Stop Smoking Now
The Overall Impact of Smoking Cigarettes: Some of the
Despite 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 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.
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
- Acetone, which is used in nail polish remover
- Cadmium – a primary component in battery acid
- Methanol, used in
- 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.
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
Besides 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.
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
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
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
A Catch 22
One 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.
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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