Every year, more than 480,000 people die in the United States (U.S.) due to tobacco-related diseases. That is around 1 in 5 of all deaths in the U.S. annually. It is estimated that 1 in 2 smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.
Smoking causes more deaths in the U.S. each year than the following combined:
- alcohol use
- firearm-related incidents
- illegal drug use
- motor vehicle incidents
Smoking shortens the life of a male by about 12 years and the life of a female by around 11 years.
Two poisons in tobacco that affect peoples' health are:
- Carbon monoxide is found in car exhaust fumes and is fatal in large doses. It replaces oxygen in the blood and starves organs of oxygen and stops them being able to function properly.
- Tar is a sticky, brown substance that coats the lungs and affects breathing.
Smoking affects many different areas of the body. Below, we cover each part of the body in turn:
Smoking can increase the likelihood of having a stroke by 2 to 4 times. Strokes can cause brain damage and death.
One way that stroke can cause brain injury is through a brain aneurysm, which occurs when the wall of the blood vessel weakens and creates a bulge. This bulge can then burst and lead to a serious condition called a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Smoking can make bones weak and brittle, which is particularly dangerous for women, who are more prone to osteoporosis and broken bones.
Smoking causes plaque to build up in the blood. Plaque sticks to the walls of arteries (atherosclerosis), making them narrower; this reduces blood flow and increases the risk of clotting.
Smoking also narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow, as well as increasing blood pressure and heart rate.
Also, chemicals in tobacco smoke increase the chance of heart problems and cardiovascular diseases.
Some of the most common are:
Carbon monoxide and nicotine in cigarettes make the heart work harder and faster; this means that smokers will find it more difficult to exercise.
Even smokers who smoke 5 or fewer cigarettes a day can have early signs of cardiovascular disease.
The immune system protects the body against infection and disease. Smoking compromises this and can lead to autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Smoking has also been linked totype 2 diabetes.
Smoking can cause a variety of lung problems.
Perhaps the most obvious part of the body affected by smoking is the lungs. In fact, smoking can impact the lungs in a number of different ways.
Primarily, smoking damages the airways and air sacs (known as alveoli) in the lungs.
Often, lung disease caused by smoking can take years to become noticeable, this means it is often not diagnosed until it is quite advanced.
There are many lung and respiratory problems caused by smoking; below are three of the most common in the American population:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): This is a long-term disease that worsens over time. It causes wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. It is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. There is no cure.
Chronic bronchitis: This occurs when the airways produce too much mucus, leading to a cough. The airways then become inflamed, and the cough is long-lasting. In time, scar tissue and mucus can completely block the airways and cause infection. There is no cure, but quitting smoking can reduce symptoms.
Emphysema: This is a type of COPD that reduces the number of sacs in the lungs and breaks down the walls in between. This destroys the person's ability to breathe, even when resting. In the latter stages, patients often can only breathe using an oxygen mask. There is no cure, and it cannot be reversed.
Other diseases caused by smoking include pneumonia, asthma, and tuberculosis.
Smoking can cause bad breath and stained teeth, as well as gum disease, tooth loss, and damage to the sense of taste.
Women who smoke can find it more difficult to become pregnant. Women who smoke when pregnant increase a number of risks for the baby, including:
- premature birth
- low birth weight
- sudden infant death syndrome
- infant illnesses
Smoking can cause impotence in men because it damages blood vessels in the penis. It can also damage sperm and affect sperm count. Men who smoke have a lower sperm count than men who are non-smokers.
Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that can reach the skin, which speeds up the aging process of the skin and can make it dull and gray.
Smoking prematurely ages the skin by 10-20 years and makes facial wrinkling, particularly around the eyes and mouth, three times more likely.
Smoking causes around 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S. In the case of lung cancer, around 80 percent of all deaths are caused by smoking.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women; it is extremely difficult to treat.
Tobacco smoke has around 7,000 chemicals in it, and around 70 of those are directly linked to causing cancer.
As well as the lungs, smoking is also a risk factor for these types of cancer, among others:
- larynx (voice box)
- pharynx (throat)
- esophagus (swallowing tube)
- myeloid leukemia
Cigars, pipe-smoking, menthol cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and other forms of tobacco all cause cancer and other health problems. There is no safe way to use tobacco.
The benefits of quitting
Quitting smoking reduces health risks.
The chances of having a stroke reduces to half of that of a non-smoker in 2 years, and the same as a non-smoker in 5 years.
Risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder drop by half within 5 years. The risk for lung cancer drops by half after 10 years.
A year after quitting smoking, the risk of a heart attack is reduced by half. After 15 years, it is the same as someone who has never smoked.
Overall, once someone stops smoking, their health will improve and their body will begin to recover.
Show MoreSmoking Is a Bad Habit
People smoke mostly in the form of cigarette. Some people use even cigar, pipes etc. All these contain dried leaves of tobacco plant. A cigarette or any such thing is made for the purpose of inhaling smoke. It contains a harmful substance 'nicotine'. Tobacco is an agricultural product, grown in the farms. Farmers get good income by growing the tobacco as an agricultural plant. Tobacco is also used in preparation of some medicines. But when tobacco is used just for pleasure, is harmful to life.
Smoking causes many harmful diseases like lung cancer, emphysema, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and can lead to birth effects. Some people smoke…show more content…
Some of the substances are classified as hard narcotics, like heroin, but the use of these is very limited as they are often not commercially available.
The history of smoking can be dated to as early as 5000 BC, and has been recorded in many different cultures across the world. Early smoking evolved in association with religious ceremonies; as offerings to deities, in cleansing rituals or to allow shamans and priests to alter their minds for purposes of divination or spiritual enlightenment. After the European exploration and conquest of the Americans, the practice of smoking tobacco quickly spread to the rest of the world. In regions like India and Subsaharan Africa, it merged with existing practices of smoking (mostly of cannabis). In Europe, it introduced a new type of social activity and a form of drug intake which previously had been unknown.
Smoking – health risks
You can eat five portions of fruit or veg a day and exercise regularly – but healthy behaviour means little if you continue to smoke.
The message that 'smoking is bad for you' is an old one, so not everyone gives it their full attention. Below we list the health risks of smoking.
Why quit smoking?
Most people know that smoking can cause lung cancer, but it can also cause many other cancers and illnesses.
Smoking directly causes over 100,000 deaths in the UK each year and contributes to many more.
Of these deaths, about 42,800 are from