Smoking has many serious effects for your health and is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the world. In the UK, over 80,000 people die from smoking-related problems every year. If you smoke or are thinking of smoking, you should take the time to consider what smoking does to your body.
In addition to the addictive nicotine, cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemicals. So far, around 70 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer. Lung cancer is the most common kind of cancer to develop from smoking, but smoking can also lead to cancer in the mouth, throat, nose, stomach, colon, and many other parts of the body.
In addition to lung cancer, smoking can cause many other problems for your respiratory system. In a very short time, smoking can lead to frequent coughing, colds, wheezing, and asthma. It can also lead to more serious conditions such as emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic bronchitis. In addition, smoking greatly increases your risk for potentially fatal diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.
Heart and Circulation
The toxins entering your body from smoking damage both your heart and your blood cells. Smoking will make your blood thicker, increasing the risk of clots. It also increases your heart rate, raises your blood pressure, and shrinks your arteries. These effects greatly increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. In fact, smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack as non-smokers.
Smoking has been shown to lead to decreased bone density over time. This is a significant factor in leading to bone loss, in addition to weaker bones that are more likely to fracture and break. Women who smoke are at a much higher risk of getting osteoporosis.
For men, smoking can lead to a lower sperm count. It can also cause damage to the blood vessels that carry blood to the penis, leading to impotence. In women, smoking has been shown to cause irregular menstrual cycles and lower fertility. On average, couples in which at least one partner smokes take significantly longer to conceive a child than couples who do not smoke.
These are only some of the harmful effects of smoking. Other side effects include gum disease, premature aging, wrinkles, increased risk of ulcers, weakened immune system, higher risk of diabetes, and cataracts.