Effects of Smoking

smoker's teeth

Smoker’s teeth.

The health effects of smoking cigarettes can really add up and take a serious toll on the body. People who smoke are more likely to become sick and to remain sick for a prolonged period of time requiring extended time off work, increased stays in the hospital, and otherwise costing society as a whole in terms of production and profitability. The harmful effects of smoking begin to take place with the first introduction of nicotine into the body and can continue to cause negative effects on the organs long after a smoker decides to quit.

Quitting is your best chance at getting better and stopping the harmful effects of smoking from taking over your health. Even those around you are negatively impacted by your decision to smoke cigarettes. In fact, some studies suggest that second hand smoke is just as harmful to others as the first hand smoke is to the smoker.

Smoking Kills

Did you know that thousands of people from around the world die every single year as a result of their addiction to cigarettes? Smoking related illness such as cancer, heart disease and other illnesses kill more people every year than car accidents! An estimated one in every two people who smoke for the majority of their adult lifetime will die as a result of their habit and in most cases these deaths will occur when the individual is middle aged.

Smoking cigarettes causes cancer of the lungs, throat, esophagus, mouth and other organs. The mixture of nicotine and harmful carcinogens that are introduced into the body as a result of smoking cigarettes can lead to heart attacks, stroke and death.

Smoking Causes Respiratory Disease

Most people are aware of the fact that smoking causes lung cancer but many do not realize that smoking can also cause other respiratory diseases which are just as dangerous and deadly as cancer. Smoking effects the lungs negatively and can lead to damaged airways and obstructed breathing. The alveoli, tiny air sacs which help you breathe, are quickly damaged by cigarette smoke and have trouble repairing themselves unless you quit.

Smoking causes emphysema, bronchitis, and COPD. Any of these respiratory problems has the potential to kill the smoker if not properly treated, if he or she continues to smoke or if other conditions arise when the smoker is already sick with one of these respiratory conditions.

Other Health Effects of Smoking Cigarettes

Many other adverse health effects are also caused by the decision to smoke cigarettes. Infertility is possible as the organs are damaged from a lack of oxygen. Men who smoke often suffer from impotence and women who smoke while pregnant are at an increased risk of premature labor or preterm delivery. Low birth weight is very common in babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy and sudden infant death syndrome common occurs in infants born to mothers who smoke.

Cardiovascular disease is a very common problem amongst smokers. People who smoke are up to 4 times more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease and stroke. Smoking also effects the cardiovascular system by causing reduced circulation throughout the body which can lead to vascular disease, tissue loss, gangrene or other problems with healing of the limbs. Many chronic smokers wind up having to get their arms, legs, hands, feet or fingers or toes amputated as a result of infection that does not heal from a lack of circulation that is the direct effect of smoking cigarettes.

Treatment for the Effects of Smoking

If the effects of smoking have begun to set in and cause problems in your life, there is help! While some of the effects of smoking cannot be treated or may not respond well to treatment, the best thing that you can do is to quit smoking as soon as possible to avoid any further damage from cigarettes and the carcinogen laden nicotine that comes from them.

Depending on the severity of the effects that smoking has already had on your health and other factors there could be many forms of treatment that are made available to you. The first step is to quit smoking and to seek medical attention for the harmful impact that smoking has had on your health. Once you’ve quit, you can begin to heal and to overcome the impact and the effects of smoking but the healing process will take time.