Smoking is really bad for your health. It can actually shorten your lifespan by 13 – 14 years.
According to the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s the leading preventable cause of death. Smoking can kill you in lots of ways. This bad habit has been linked to different types of cancers, heart disease, lung disease, and more.
Not only does smoking kill you, but it also slowly kills everyone else around you, including your family. Secondhand smoke actually kills approximately 7,330 people each year from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease. Even thirdhand smoke can create health problems in infants.
Below, we’re going to take an even closer look at the other ways smoking hurts your health. If you’re searching for the best martial arts, BJJ, or self defense classes in Raleigh, keep reading to see how Gracie can meet your needs! Call us today to learn more.
The Many Ways Smoking Hurts Your Body
First, let’s talk about some of the more minor consequences of smoking. We’re talking about the negative cosmetic impact, things like terrible breath, tar-stained teeth, yellow-tinted skin, and the foul smoky odor your hair and clothes give off.
Now let’s talk about the more serious health impacts. Data from the National Cancer Institute, or NCI, shows that cigarette smoking is linked to many types of cancer, such as mouth and throat, lung, bladder, pancreas, kidney, and cervix. If everyone in the United States would quit smoking tobacco, 87% of lung cancers would vanish.
That leads us to MedlinePlus. This the National Institute of Health’s online information database for patients, their families, and other interested people. It’s also the world’s largest online medical library. According to them, smoking cigarettes can potentially harm every one of your body’s organs and systems. Let’s take a closer look!
Your Respiratory System
Outside of cancer, cigarette smoking creates a higher risk of lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis. It also irritates your trachea and larynx, reduces your lung function, and makes the airways in the lungs narrow due to swelling and excessive amounts of mucus.
Smoking also inhibits your oxygen levels, based on research from the CDC. This is because smokers ingest carbon monoxide and other toxic gases produced by a burning cigarette. This displaces parts of the normal oxygen load transferred between lungs and heart. The heart then circulates these toxins to the rest of the body.
Your Cardiovascular System
When it comes to your heart and cardiovascular system, smoking cigarettes wreaks havoc on them. The AHA, The American Heart Association, reports that people who smoke are at a 2 – 3 times higher risk of dying from coronary heart disease than nonsmokers.
Other effects to the cardiovascular systems come from nicotine and the other substances in tobacco smoke that get inhaled. These include an elevated heart rate and blood pressure. This can last for up to 30 minutes after each smoke break.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure between the lungs and heart is also called pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension reduces the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, which is a vital metabolic function.
This can lead to congestive heart failure overtime. Congestive heart failure means the heart cannot pump blood like it should. All of these conditions can reduce your ability to do most types of physical activity. Doing so would put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Smoking makes your blood platelets sticky, so they’re more prone to clotting. When these platelets clot up in the blood vessels that lead to your heart or brain, there’s less room for blood flow. This, too, can lead to higher risks of stroke or heart attack.
Regardless of a partial or total vascular space obstruction from blood clots, interrupted blood flow to the heart and brain is a serious health concern. If not treated, you could develop arrhythmia, paralysis, memory loss, or even death in severe cases.
Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that these types of smoking related heart health problems contributed to over 126,000 deaths each year as of 2008.
Another affect that smoking cigarettes has on your cardiovascular system is that it increases your blood cholesterol levels. This creates a buildup of arterial plaque, which makes your blood vessels more narrow over time. Since atherosclerosis reduces blood circulation, it can lead to many other health problems as well.
These other health problems include aortic aneurysms. This is when an artery bulges, or ruptures, which could lead to death. Another is peripheral venous disease. This is when the cells in your legs and skin degenerate due to reduced blood flow. This type of tissue death could result in loss of limbs.
If you’re trying to have a baby, you should know that smoking affects your reproductive system as well. For men, smoking can cause erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, and more. For women, smoking can cause the onset of early menopause, and have adverse effects on your pregnancy and unborn child.
Want to learn even more about why you should stop smoking cigs? Check out the other topics on this subject. You’ll even find a few helpful tips that will make quitting easier.
- Why You Should Kick Your Smoking Habit
- Smoking and Sports Performance
- Other Negative Effects of Smoking
- Tips for Quitting Smoking
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