According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 1.1 billion smokers in the world, 800 million are in the developing world (nearly three times as many as in developed countries).
Everyday, over thousand of people around the world are dying from disease cause by smoking. This makes clear that smoking is one of the main causes of death.
Tobacco smoke contains a substance called nicotine, a poisonous alkaloid, and other harmful substances such as acrolein, ammonia, carbon monoxide, prussic acid, tars, etc. About 4000 chemicals contained in tobacco that when heated will produces many substances that can cause irreparable damage to your health.
Smoking harms nearly every vital organ and tissue of the body. The effects depend on the age when a person first started smoking, the number of cigarettes that the person smokes per day, and the number of years he or she has smoked. The following are some health effects of smoking on different parts of the body.
Smoking causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of diseases that includes asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. COPD is a progressive disease that makes a person hard to breathe. Many smokers do not know that they have been affected until it’s too late. There is no cure for this disease and no way to reverse the damage. About 10% to 15% of smokers will develop COPD.
Nicotine in tobacco smoke may causes the blood pressure to increase and make the blood clot easily. Carbon monoxide steal the blood oxygen and lead to the development of cholesterol stored in artery walls. All of these increased the risk of heart attack.
Smoking can causes the arteries and blood vessels to tighten which may lead to several problems such as:
- Cramps and pain in your arteries that can cause strokes and heart attacks.
- Gangrene which may lead to amputations.
- Low fitness levels, cold skin, and ulcers.
Reproduction and Fertility
The effects of smoking on reproduction and fertility are very serious. Smoking can increase the risk of impotence, damaging sperm, reducing sperm count and cause testicular cancer.
Mouth and Teeth
Smoking causes unattractive problems like bad breath and stained teeth. It also can cause gum disease and damage to your sense of taste. The most serious effect of smoking to this area is an increased risk of developing cancer in your tongue, throat, and lips.
Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen to the skin, causing your skin to be dry and lose elasticity. This means smoking may speed up the aging of your skin.
Smoking can cause bones getting weak and brittle. This because the ingredients in cigarette smoke disrupt the natural cycle of bone health. Over time, it leads to a thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density.
Compared to non-smokers, smokers have a higher risk of getting osteoporosis. A study showed that women who smoke were 5-10 percent more likely to suffer from osteoporosis than non-smokers.
Smoking can lead to several eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and graves’ ophthalmopathy. The worst effect of smoking in this area is that it can cause permanent blindness to the eyes.
Smoking may increased the chance of developing stomach cancer or ulcers and the risk of developing cancer of the pancreas, kidney and bladder.
Smoking is not only harmful to yourself but also people around you. People who breathe in the smoke exhaled by the active smoker are also have an increased risk of getting lung cancer and heart disease. So, quit it now!