Millions of people live with a disease caused by smoking, and this unhealthy habit claims the lives of about 24,000 Australians every year.
Excessive smoking is one of the leading causes of disease and disability, and it brings harm to nearly every organ in the body.
Health Effects of Smoking Cigarettes
Cigarette smoking is known to be the root cause of many diseases and reduces the health of smokers in general.
Excessive smoking is proven to increase the risk of dying from all causes, on top of those tobacco-related use. Within a few seconds of the first puff, the toxic chemicals will reach the brain, heart, and other vital organs.
Cigarette smoking can affect the respiratory, circulatory, and reproductive systems. It can cause vision problems, skin rashes, and worse, it increases the risk of many different cancers.
Smoking can also alter one’s physical appearance, develop negative emotions, destroy finances, and can negatively impact relationships with others.
In this article, we look at seven possible effects of smoking cigarettes.
Breathing problems and chronic respiratory conditions
Smoking is one of the leading causes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.
COPD is a severe, progressive, and disabling condition that causes airway blockage and breathing problems.
Active smoking can also trigger asthma and is associated with an increased risk of asthma attacks in adolescents and adults.
Heart disease, stroke, and blood circulation problems
Cigarette smoking can cause various cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart diseases. It increases the risk of blood clots, resulting in interrupted blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body.
Frequent smokers can have circulation problems, leading to amputation of limbs.
Smoking increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes with 30% to 40% higher occurrence for smokers than non-smokers. It can also worsen symptoms relating to type 2 diabetes, such as kidney disease.
Excessive smoking causes most lung cancers and cancers in different parts of the body. These include throat, lip, tongue, stomach, liver, kidney, pancreas, cervix, and more.
Tobacco use can affect one’s ability to conceive. It reduces fertility in women can cause problems during pregnancy. It can also affect sperm quality in men.
Smoking can affect the fetus’s development and can contribute to a list of issues including:
- Risk of ectopic pregnancy
- Malnutrition or decreases the baby’s birth weight
- Risk of preterm delivery
- Severe damages to the baby’s lungs, brain, and central nervous system
- Risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Smoking speeds up the skin’s aging process, causing the early appearance of wrinkles and rashes.
Take note that the damage is irreversible, and it can result in many skin diseases, including skin cancer.
Vision and Hearing Loss
The harmful chemicals in cigarettes can damage the eye, leading to macular degeneration. The condition is known to be the main cause of blindness in Australia.
Smoking also reduces the blood flow to the inner nerves of the ear. Active smokers may experience hearing loss over time.
Weakened immune system
Cigarette smoking can cause the immune system to decrease its function, making them more susceptible to illnesses, bacteria, and viral infections. It can also increase inflammation in the body.
There is no way around it; smoking is bad for the health. It is the primary cause of many health conditions, and it harms nearly every organ in the body.
The smoke produces also has its side effects on other people. Breathing secondhand smoke can cause many health complications as active smokers do, such as heart disease and cancer.
Children’s exposure to secondhand smoke also increases their risk of infection, colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, and severe asthma.
Nicotine addiction is another one of the harmful effects of smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant drug found in tobacco, making it harder for people to quit this habit.
Quitting smoking can be difficult, but seeking help from a doctor can help. Ask them for advice and work with them to create an action plan. There are various medications and treatments available that can make people quit smoking. You can look into products like Nicobloc drops.
Learn the effects of cigarette smoking in a first aid course and what to do in an emergency.