Ill Effects of Smoking on the Human Body – Wake Up Before It is Too Late
No matter how you smoke it (over here, I am referring to the various forms of smoking cigarettes – hookah, cigar, cigarettes, pipe etc.), tobacco is dangerous for your health and it adversely affects your entire body.
Here are Some of the Common Ill Effects of Smoking on the Human Body–
1) Mood Swings:
Dramatic changes in your mood are a direct resultant of the nicotine content present in a regular cigarette playing games with your central nervous system. If you are under a lot of stress, it would take more to get more (in simpler words, if you are a heavy smoker, you would require more cigarettes to keep your head clear).
Here are the main reasons:
@ Tobacco cigarettes are alkaline in nature and when inhaled, they alter the neurotransmitters in the human brain.
@ According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the increase of dopamine transmitters leads to a feeling of contentment and immense pleasure.
@ When you stop smoking cigarettes or give a long gap between two consecutive cigarettes, the dopamine release in the brain is minimized, leading to craving for more nicotine. This alters your mood and leads to mood swings.
@ People who quit smoking cigarettes usually experience mood swing for the next 3 days.
@ Heavy smokers may experience these uncomfortable mood swings for as long as a week after smoking the last cigarette.
2) Reduced Vision:
Smoking may be the reason you don’t see as well as you used to. If you smoke regularly, the chances are that you may experience several eye related ailments. So, how does smoking affect your eyes?
Well, here are some of the pointers for the same:
@ Smokers have twice the chance of contracting cataract as compared to non-smoking individuals.
@ Glaucoma, with special regards to open angle glaucoma, is very high among smokers. This is also one of the leading reasons behind premature blindness.
@ The lazy eye syndrome or facial defects near the eye region (with special regards to new born babies) is prevalent in children of mothers that are regular smokers.
@ If you are unfortunate enough to be suffering from diabetes and you also smoke cigarettes like there is ‘no tomorrow’, then you are liable to suffer from diabetic retinopathy. This results in dramatic transformations of the blood vessels present within your eyes, thereby leading to blindness.
@ Another eye diseases termed as Uveitis that causes swelling underneath the eye, is also a resultant of smoking tobacco cigarettes.
@ When you smoke cigarettes, your eyes tend to become dry, which in turn makes it difficult to wear contacts. The incorrect application of contact lenses may lead to the development of ulcers in the cornea thereby causing blindness.
@ Complications in the thyroid gland are common among smokers, which in turn may lead to the development of the Grave’s disease.
3) Suppresses Appetite:
Our sense of smell and sense of taste can be dulled by smoking, which in turn may affect your appetite. Basically, it is the nicotine content in a regular cigarette that reduces your cravings for food. Nicotine alters the basic functionality of the hypothalamus cell present in the human brain that suppresses your food cravings, thereby naturally reducing your appetite.
4) Anxiety and Irritability:
If you missed your cigarette break, or if you’re trying to withdraw, you might find yourself a bit on the edge. Once again, nicotine plays a major role in first providing a sense of pleasure to the user, which is later transformed into craving for more nicotine (thereby leading to irritable withdrawal symptoms).
5) Excessive Coughing:
All that tobacco smoke you inhale while smoking can certainly make you cough, but it doesn’t effectively clear your lungs. Excessive smokers tend to damage “the cilia” that is present in their lungs. When this protective layer is rendered useless, toxins emitting from cigarette smoke tend to settle in your lungs. This forces your body’s natural defense mechanism to flush them out via the mechanism of violent cough.
6) Cold and Flu:
Smokers experience more colds and flu than nonsmokers do. Owing to the weakening of the immune system, smokers tend to catch infections pretty easily and the most common kind of infection is viral and bacterial.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases are more common in smokers. Aggravated tissue damage, damage to the cilia lining in the lungs as well as emphysema acceleration, leads to the development of COPD in smokers. Excessive scarring of the wind pipe also accelerates the chances of smoking enthusiasts contracting COPD without any resistance.
8) Lung Cancer:
Smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer more often than nonsmokers.
Here are some interesting facts on smoking and lung cancer:
@ With several carcinogens being present in a tobaocco cigarette, the chances of contracting cancer for smokers is not an unusual affair.
@The highly offensive smoke that emits from cigarettes tends to damage our cancer protecting genes such as benzene.
@ Four out of every five lung cancer patients are smokers or the sufferers of passive smoking.
@ The DNA of a smoker changes after every 15 tobacco cigarettes that he smokes.
It is very ironic but it is also very true. A chronic condition such as bronchitis is also a direct resultant of smoking regular cigarettes. Nonetheless, this is not all. The children and other family members residing in the same home as that of the smoker are also susceptible to contracting this disease.
The highly offensive smoke emitting from regular cigarettes cause the lungs of a human being to get inflamed thereby causing bronchitis. The respiratory passages too are damaged by the highly offensive second hand smoke, which in turn increases the production of mucus.
10) Excessive Clotting of the Blood:
When you suffer from blood clots, you have the tendency to restrict normal blood flow to your vital body parts, such as your heart. This may lead to a cardiac arrest.
The chemicals released from a single cigarette are very harmful for your blood cells. They compel platelets to bind together thereby leading to unwanted blood clots. The inner lining of a smoker’s blood vessels are also damaged, which again is the root cause behind blood clots.
11) Constriction of Blood Vessels:
When you smoke cigarettes, nicotine content enters your blood stream and contracts the outer wall of the veins. Lack of optimal blood flow to vital parts of your body can cause severe complications, especially with regards to your heart and your brain.
Carbon monoxide emitting from tobacco cigarettes scars the inner lining of your blood vessels. Nicotine present in cigarettes forces stored body fat to be released into the blood stream. These fatty acids stick to the damaged walls of the blood stream thereby restricting the normal blood flow.
12) Blood Cancer:
While blood cancer cannot by linked to smokers, it has been clinically stated that people who indulge in smoking cigarettes are more prone to contracting this fatal ailment as compared to non-smokers.
If you smoke tobacco cigarettes, your chances of contracting leukemia shall increase by 30%. The high amounts of radioactive matter as well as benzene in cigarette smoke tend to be the main reason behind blood cancer among smokers.
13) High Cholesterol:
Tobacco smoke steals your good cholesterol and aids in the development of bad cholesterol. Cigarette smoke tends to disrupt the Low Density Lipoprotein levels in the human body.
Thereafter, this smoke forces cholesterol to disintegrate into highly damaging forms that increase inflammation in the arteries. This also leads to deposition of unwanted plaque and increasing the toxicity of blood in the arteries.
14) Heart Disease:
The highly toxic second hand smoke that emits from burning cigarettes causes several cardiac issues, including heart attacks. Ironically, both smokers as well as innocent passive smokers are at a risk of damaging the normal functionality of their heart as they both inhale these toxic fumes.
It is good to know that when a smoker quits smoking regular cigarettes, he is able to reduce his chances of contracting a cardiac arrest is he steers clear of this deadly product for a complete year. If he continues this was for the next fifteen years, his heart would be as healthy as that of a non-smoker.
15) Yellow Fingers:
Those yellowish fingers and fingernails come from handling tobacco products over many years.
There could be two main reasons behind this phenomenon:
@ First, when you hold a regular cigarette in your hands, the tar and tobacco content that slowly slips from the product tends to accumulate in and around your fingernails thereby staining them.
@ Second, the highly offensive second hand smoke emitting from tobacco cigarettes restricts the normal oxygen flow to your fingernails, thereby staining them in a yellowish color.
16) Stained Teeth:
Yellowish or brownish stains on the teeth are telltale signs of long-term smoking. The two main reasons why your teeth get stained in a yellowish hue is owing to the presence of tar and nicotine in regular cigarettes.
When nicotine is inhaled and gets mixed with oxygen, it first changes its color to yellow and gets stuck to the outer surface of your tooth. Tar also tends to seep inside your oral cavity along with nicotine, sliding through the microscopic openings present on your tooth enamel.
Interestingly, these extrinsic stains can be removed with proper brushing or by paying a visit to a local dentist.
17) Wrinkly Skin:
All that smoke in your face causes your skin to age prematurely. Owing to the oxidative stress that is applied by the awful second hand smoke emitting from regular cigarettes, your skin tends to lose its ability to absorb oxygen in its prime form.
The deprived oxygen content coupled with the high levels of toxins present in cigarette smoke degrades the collagen thereby damaging the skin surface. Instead of a smooth and supple skin, smokers are left with dry and wrinkled skin.
18) Smelly Hair:
Just being around a smoker can make your hair smell of smoke. The smoke that is released from a lit cigarette contains thousands of highly toxic chemicals that damage your hair follicles.
Secondly, the skin area right underneath your skin follicles is also damaged owing to the lack of optimal blood circulation, which is again caused by the offensive smoke emitting from regular cigarettes.
The awful smell that emits from your hair is the direct resultant of the harsh chemicals that have seeped into your blood stream. They smell like hell and make your hair smell awful as well.
19) Bad Teeth:
Smokers may develop infection or inflammation of the gums, which can cause tooth decay and tooth loss. This happens because tobacco has the ability to render your teeth defenseless against chronic infections (bacteria and virus), which in turn leads to the development of plaque and various unhealthy bacterium.
The end results is cavities, stained teeth, infections and even tooth loss. Interestingly, chewed tobacco also causes severe damage to your teeth. Basically, tobacco slowly destroys the defense system present in your oral cavity.
20) Diabetes Complications:
If you are a regular smoker, then your chances of contacting the dreaded Type 2 diabetes is really high. When cigarette smoke enters the human body, it tends to restrict normal blood supply to all parts of your body. Restricted blood flow gives rise to a myriad of ailments, with Type 2 Diabetes being one of them.
21) Cancer Complications:
Smokers have a higher rate of certain cancers, including cancer of the mouth, throat, and kidneys. The carcinogens present in a tobacco cigarette are the main reason behind the development of cancers in human beings.
Interestingly, smoking can lead to fourteen different kinds of cancers. These include cancers of the upper mouth and throat, the esophagus, the larynx, the lungs, the liver, the pancreas, the stomach, the kidney, the bowels, the ovaries, the bladder, the cervix and the blood (leukemia).
Male and female smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to have fertility issues. With over seven thousand harmful chemicals seeping into your body when you smoke a single cigarette, the chances of you becoming infertile are very high.
This is very true in males. Men have a tendency to reduce their sperm count when they inhale the highly offensive smoke emitting from tobacco cigarettes. Motility complications have also been reported to be caused by the highly offensive second hand smoke.
23) Erectile Dysfunction:
You need blood flow to get an erection, and smoking can complicate this phenomena. The smoke from a cigarette is laced with thousands of highly toxic chemicals that have the ability to damage the lining of your blood vessels.
This helps in the development of plaque thereby restricting blood flow to vital parts of your body, which also includes your penis region. Erection happens only when ample blood is able to pass into your penile tissue. When that does not happen, you tend to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
24) Early Menopause:
Female smokers tend to enter menopause earlier than nonsmokers. The egg cells in a woman tend to die when the pregnant women smokes tobacco cigarettes. This is owing to the highly toxic chemicals and carcinogens present in a regular cigarette.
Women who smoke tobacco cigarettes are thrice more prone to take more than a year to conceive as compared to non-smoking women. In fact, if statistical data is to be believed then, women who smoke cigarettes are thirty percent less likely to get pregnant as compared to women who do not smoke cigarettes.
25) Cervical Cancer:
Women who smoke raise their likelihood of developing cervical cancer. The dreaded HPV virus that has 19 hideous forms is more likely to infect female smokers as compared to women who do not smoke a single cigarette.
An interesting research study revealed that if a non-smoking woman was infected with a HPV virus, the chances were that she would develop cervical cancer within a 9 years span. On the contrary, the percentage of smoking women contracting cervical cancer was as high as 14% in a span of 9 years from the date of infection.
26) Problems in Pregnancy:
Smoking during pregnancy can cause a lot of problems for both the mother and the baby.
Here are few of the complications caused by pregnant women smoking regular cigarettes:
@ The placenta has a great chance of getting displaced from its original position if pregnant women smoke cigarettes. A premature displacement may lead to excessive bleeding.
@ Babies of women who smoke have low birth weight and they are also born early.
@ Miscarriages and even conceiving is a daunting task for women smokers, owing to the high amounts of highly toxic chemicals that enter the woman’s body.
@ The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is directly linked to the highly offensive second hand smoke that is inhaled by a pregnant woman.
@ Certain defects during the birth such as a cleft upper lip, is quite common in babies born from mothers that smoke regular cigarettes.
@ Even non-smoking mothers who are exposed to the highly offensive second hand smoke emitting from tobacco cigarettes are at a high risk of miscarriage and the related birth defects mentioned above.
27) Problems for Newborns:
Having a mother who smokes during pregnancy puts a baby at higher health risk.
Here are some of the major complications:
@ Babies born from smoking mothers are usually low in weight.
@ Such babies have low immunity levels.
@ Birth defects are quite high in babies wherein the mother is a regular smoker. A cleft palate is a classic example of such a birth defect.
@ Many babies are born before time and that is a great health risk. Premature babies have been known to die early.