It’s no secret, smoking has so many health risks, it damages just about every organ you have. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), they estimated that for every 5 deaths, one of them is tied to cigarette smoking. Cigarette has become deadlier than a vehicular accident, alcoholism, drug abuse murder, suicide, or even HIV/AIDS.
One of the most notorious effects of smoking is cancer. Among all of cancer cases in the United States, a third of it are smoking-related cases. The most closely linked cancer of all to smoking is lung cancer. Smoking causes almost all of the lung cancer deaths in our country. According to CDC, 90% of male deaths and 80% of female deaths.
Lung cancer isn’t the only kind of cancer linked to smoking cigarettes. Cancers of the kidney, cervix, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, larynx, throat and bladder are all linked to smoking as well. Some leukemia cases are caused by smoking too.
If the effects didn’t reach to cancer yet, you are most likely going to experience respiratory disease. Smoke is extremely bad for the lungs. As soon as you puff a cigarette, the damage begins. The risk of a smoker dying from a disease like emphysema, or chronic bronchitis is times 10 compared to a non-smoker. Chronic bronchitis happens when the smoke triggers your airways to produce excessive mucus.
The cough becomes chronic as you continue to smoke because your lungs will continue to keep producing mucus. The coughing helps clear the airways, but too much of it will cause swelling and scar tissues. This individual is also at risk of having pneumonia and other lung infections. Emphysema occurs when the tiny air sacs in your lungs get destroyed due to smoking. When this happens, the individual will have breathing problems and will eventually struggle to breathe.
Cardiovascular diseases become a norm with smokers. Smoking increases your triglycerides. It increases the bad cholesterol, which then clogs up the arteries of your heart. This is called atherosclerosis. A person is in great risk of stroke or heart attack when this occurs. This is why smoking is also linked to obesity. Other than that, it is 4 times more likely that a smoker will suffer from coronary heart disease.
Other health issues are widespread in the body too, like premature wrinkles. Smoking causes premature wrinkles because it prevents proper oxygen absorption in the body. Oxygen is very important in the renewing of cells. Without it, your cells tend to take up its time to heal, or it will never heal at all. Cataracts are closely tied to smoking as well. Muscular degeneration happens when you smoke.
This slowly damages the optic nerve of your eyes. The eyes will be cloudy and will block your eyesight. Periodontic issues are also caused by smoking. The toxins in the cigarette can cause damage in your gums, making them recede. It also weakens your enamel which puts you at risk of tooth decay.
Now, this goes to non-smokers as well. Just because you don’t smoke doesn’t mean you don’t need to be careful. Second-hand smoke can be as dangerous as smoking a stick of cigarette. Non-smokers who are exposed to friends or relatives who smoke should also take some precaution. Every year, 49,000 lung cancer deaths are due to secondhand smoke.
If you live or work in an environment with smokers, this puts you at least 20% to 30% at risk of getting the diseases mentioned above. Children whose parents or guardians are smokers are also at risk of getting pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, and ear infections. Smoking pregnant women can also put their babies at risk of SIDS or Sudden Death Infant Syndrome.
Nobody wants to experience the tough consequences of smoking. As soon as you quit smoking cigarettes, your body can start to repair the damages it caused. Remember to take control of your health.