Cigarettes cause a variety of negative health impacts. Some of these can have life-threatening consequences.
Smoking cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), increases the chance of dying from any cause, not just those associated to tobacco use.
Cigarette smoking harms the respiratory system, circulatory system, reproductive system, skin, and eyes, as well as increasing the risk of a variety of malignancies.
We’ll look at so possible side effects of smoking cigarettes in this article.
Coronary artery disease
Cigarette smoking is harmful to the heart, blood arteries, and blood cells.
Cigarette smoke contains chemicals and tar that can raise a person’s risk of atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the blood arteries. This buildup restricts blood flow and can result in life-threatening clots.
Smoking also raises the risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition in which the arteries in the arms and legs constrict and impede blood flow.
According to research, there is a direct link between smoking and the development of PAD. Even former smokers are at a higher risk than individuals who have never smoked.
If you have PAD, you’re more likely to develop:
Cigarette smoking can cause damage to a woman’s reproductive system, making it more difficult for her to become pregnant. It’s possible that this is due to the fact that tobacco and the other chemicals in cigarettes have an effect on hormone levels.
Men who smoke more cigarettes and for a longer period of time are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction than women who consume less cigarettes. Smoking can also have a negative impact on the quality of sperm, resulting in decreased fertility.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking can have a negative impact on pregnancy and the developing foetus in a variety of ways, including:
- increasing the risk of ectopic pregnancy
- reducing the baby’s birth weight
- increasing the risk of preterm delivery
- damaging the fetus’s lungs, brain, and central nervous system
- increasing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
- contributing to congenital abnormalities, such as cleft lip or cleft palate
Damage to the lungs
Cigarette smoking has a negative impact on lung health because it exposes a person to not only nicotine but also a range of other substances through their breathing.
A significant increase in the risk of getting lung cancer is attributed to the use of tobacco products. Men are at 25 times greater risk than women, and women are at 25.7 times more risk than men.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is responsible for around 9 out of every 10 lung cancer.
Cigarette smoking also increases the likelihood of getting and dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (COPD). In fact, according to the American Lung Association, smoking is responsible for 80 percent of COPD deaths.
Type 2 diabetes risk
Additionally, smoking might make managing one’s diabetes more difficult for those who suffer from the disease.
Damaged immune system
Cigarette smoking has been shown to damage a person’s immune system, making them more susceptible to illnesses.
Additionally, it has the potential to produce extra inflammation in the body.
Cigarette smoking can cause eye problems, such as an increased risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, among other things.
There are several other eyesight impairments associated with smoking, including:
- dry eyes
- diabetic retinopathy
Poor oral hygiene
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- swollen and tender gums
- bleeding when brushing
- loose teeth
- sensitive teeth
A person’s ability to taste and smell things properly can be impaired when they smoke tobacco. It can also discolour the teeth, turning them yellow or brown.
Unhealthy skin and hair
The skin and hair of a person who smokes tobacco can be negatively affected. It is possible for someone who smokes to have skin that is prematurely aged and wrinkled. They also have a higher risk of skin cancer, “particularly on the lips,” than the general population.
When you smoke, your hair and skin may begin to smell like tobacco. It can also have a negative impact on hair loss and balding.
Risk of other cancers
In addition to the well-documented association between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer, smoking cigarettes can also increase the risk of developing other types of cancer.
Individuals who smoke have a three-fold increased risk of developing bladder cancer compared to those who do not smoke.
Cigarettes can also raise the likelihood of developing:
- mouth cancer
- laryngeal cancer
- throat cancer
- esophageal cancer
- kidney cancer
- cervical cancer
- liver cancer
- colon cancer
- acute myeloid leukemia
The negative consequences of smoking cigarettes do not only affect those who smoke cigarettes. Secondhand smoking can have serious health consequences for family members, friends, and employees who are exposed to it.
The following are some of the consequences of secondhand smoking exposure:
- increasing the risk of colds and ear infections
- making asthma worse
- raising blood pressure
- damaging the heart
- reducing levels of high-density lipoprotein, or “good,” cholesterol
The benefits of quitting smoking begin to accrue as soon as a person quits. Clearer skin, better oral health, more stable hormones, a stronger immune system, and a lower risk of developing several types of cancer are just a few of the benefits.
Other advantages of stopping smoking include the following:
- After 20 minutes–12 hours: Heart rate and carbon monoxide in the blood drop to normal levels.
- After 1 year: The risk of a heart attack is much lower, as is blood pressure. Coughing and upper respiratory problems begin to improve.
- After 2–5 years: The risk of stroke drops to that of someone who does not smoke, according to the CDC.
- After 5–15 years: The risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer is reduced by half.
- After 10 years: The risk of lung cancer and bladder cancer is half that of someone who currently smokes.
- After 15 years: The risk of heart disease is similar to that of someone who never smoked.
Nicotine is an addictive chemical that can produce withdrawal symptoms if a person stops taking it for an extended period of time. Cravings, increased hunger, and irritability are just a few of the signs and symptoms. Cravings and other adverse effects are often alleviated with time.
The assistance of a doctor or other healthcare expert can assist a smoker in taking positive steps towards quitting.