The effects of smoking cigarettes are not only hazardous to your health, they are also potentially dangerous to those around you, especially children or elderly adults. Cigarette smoking results in the admission of more than 4,000 toxic chemicals into the lungs. These toxins are then dispersed throughout the body creating hazardous effects on the internal organs, the immune system and the brain.
Research shows that smoking effects begin to set in and cause widespread damage within mere seconds of the first puff off a cigarette or a pipe full of tobacco. Every part of the body is negatively impacted by the decision to light up. Here’s a look at some of the ways that smoking destroys the body:
- Nicotine, the primary addictive substance found in tobacco, can reach the brain and begin to cause negative effects within 10 seconds of the first inhalation of a cigarette.
- Carcinogens from the tobacco smoke damage the cells that are fundamental to human life. This damage can result in various types of cancer or abnormalities.
- The level of oxygen that is carried to various organs throughout the body via the blood is reduced as a result of an increase in carbon monoxide biding to the red blood cells.
- Tightening of the blood vessels as a result of a lack of oxygen can cause damage to the arteries, increased risk of heart attack or stroke, and reduced circulation.
- Poor immune system function which leads to increased risk of infection or illness.
- Reduced sperm count in men or reduced fertility in women characterized by irregular menstrual cycles or a complete absence of menstruation.
- Poor lung function and shortness of breath due to a swelling which occurs in the airways as a result of constricted blood vessels and damage to the lungs from smoke and carcinogens.
Smoking related illness and diseases are a major cause of death for people who smoke. Prolonged smoking can result in permanent damage to the organs and the cells of the body. Lung cancer and COPD or Emphysema are all major concerns for people who smoke but smoking effects can be even more dangerous than most people realize when it comes to the damage caused to the circulatory system: primarily to the heart.
Smoking causes in increased risk of heart disease which is the leading cause of death among people who smoke. More than 2 million people per year die from cardiovascular disease compared to about one million deaths combined from COPD and lung cancer. While not all heart disease related deaths are the result cigarette smoking, many cases of heart disease could have been prevented by the decision for chronic smokers to quit.
Smoking is Deadly!
Smoking is a deadly habit that should be avoided at all costs. Not only does smoking physically harm every organ in the human body, human risk for disease and general health problems increase significantly as a result of ones decision to smoke. The adverse health effects of smoking can often be so severe that death is the only possible outcome. If you’re still not convinced that smoking causes death, consider these facts:
- Smoking cigarettes accounts for approximately one in every five deaths in the United States or 20% of all deaths in the U.S. are related to the harmful effects of smoking.
- Tobacco causes more deaths than drug abuse, alcohol, car accidents, suicide, murder, and HIV combined.
- An estimated 80-90% of all lung cancer deaths are the result of smoking.
- COPD, another disease that is caused by cigarette smoking, risk increases 13 times over those who don’t smoke
- Smokers have an increased risk of lung cancer, 23 times greater than those who don’t smoke
- Smoking is directly connected to the following types of cancer: bladder cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, cancer of the cervix, cancer of the larynx, cancer of the mouth, stomach cancer, throat cancer and pancreatic cancer.