HARMFUL EFFECTS OF SMOKING

By Unknown - July 07, 2017

A woman smoking

No matter how you smoke it, smoking tobacco is dangerous to your health.

Cigarette smoking does not only affect your lungs, but it also harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general.

According to CDC report, worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.
Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.
On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 years of age are expected to die prematurely from a smoking-related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today.

What are the complications associated with smoking?

Let's discuss its effects on major organs of the body.

The Heart.
  The heart is a muscular organ in humans and other animals, which pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system. Blood provides the body with oxygen and nutrients, as well as assists in the removal of metabolic wastes.

 The carbon monoxide inhaled when smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This means your heart has to pump harder to supply the body with the oxygen it needs. This takes a toll on the heart, and overtime the chambers gets larger and  weaker. This can lead to heart failure. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can harm your blood cells. They also can destroy the structure and function of your blood vessels. This damage increases your risk of atherosclerosis. Your blood is more likely to clot, which increases your risk of having a heart attack  or stroke.
  
The Lungs.
The function of the lungs in the respiratory system is to extract oxygen from the atmosphere and transfer it into the bloodstream, and to release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere.
  Smoke inhaled from cigarette contains many chemicals that interfere with the body's technique of filtering air and cleaning out the lungs. The smoke inhaled also irritates the lungs and this leads to the overproduction of mucus. It also paralyses the tiny hair-like structures called the cilla that line the airways and clean out dust, dirt and other foreign particles. If the cilla is paralyzed, it makes toxic substances and mucus accumulate, which leads to lung congestion.
  
Also one of the most common triggers of asthma is cigarette smoking. Asthma, being an inflammation of the airways is triggered when the airways are exposed to smoke from cigarette because the airways are now more sensitive and narrowed.

Long term use also leads to emphysema, in which the tissues of the lungs are enlarged and damaged, which reduces the surface area for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. It causes breathlessness.

The Liver.
The liver has a wide range of functions, including detoxification of various metabolites, protein synthesis, and the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion. It also plays a role in metabolism, regulation of glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells and hormone production.

Numerous chemical toxins found in cigarette can lead to chronic inflammation and scarring in the liver, which increases your risk for liver damage including diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, liver cancer and liver fibrosis. Also smoking cigarette affects the way your liver processes alcohol and medications, which can increase your risk for alcoholism as well as your overall drug and alcohol tolerance levels.

The Brain.
 The function of the brain is to exert centralized control over the other organs of the body.
 Smoking cigarette does damage to the brain. Firstly it takes just 8 seconds after the first inhalation  for nicotine, which is a substance present in cigarette to travel to the brain. Since a nicotine molecule is shaped similar to a neurotransmitter, it gets lodged onto the brain receptors and activates areas of the brain involved in producing feelings of pleasure and reward, leading to addiction.
  Smoking also causes lack of concentration, reduces your IQ and increases your risk of having a brain stroke because of shortage of oxygen to the brain.

Smoking also causes the following effects:

Increases your risk of diabetes. The more you smoke, the higher your risk for type 2 diabetes. Smoking also makes diabetes hard to manage.

Wrinkles and aging of the skin due to shortage of oxygen to the skin.

Bone degeneration particularly in women.

Increases your risk of stomach and mouth ulcers.

It is always said that you use something when the benefits outweigh the risks. But in smoking, there are no benefits.

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