Smoking is one of the main reasons for the development of many fatal diseases. According to WHO statistics, about 6 million people worldwide die from it each year. The dangers of smoking cannot be overemphasized. Tobacco smoke disturbs nerve impulses that are responsible for the condition of most organs and systems. The consequence of smoking is the formation of many diseases.
A cigarette is far from a harmless toy, consisting of tobacco leaves and paper. During its combustion, more than 4 thousand hazardous chemicals are released. They cause the main harm to the body when smoking.
Together with the smoke from a cigarette you inhale:
- resins are a mixture of particulate matter. Most of them are carcinogens and settle in the lungs;
- arsenic is the most harmful chemical element in cigarettes. It has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system, provokes the development of cancerous tumors;
- formaldehyde is a toxic chemical. It causes lung and respiratory infections;
- benzene is a toxic chemical compound of organic origin. It causes leukemia and other forms of cancer;
- polonium is a radioactive element. It has a radiation effect on the body from the inside;
- other substances – harmful compounds inhaled with tobacco smoke pass through the circulatory system throughout the human body, causing serious damage to internal organs.
Danders of smoking
Your heart and blood vessels
Nicotine contributes to the narrowing of blood vessels. Carbon monoxide, accumulating in the arteries, slows down the flow of blood, and when bound to hemoglobin, it provokes a state of hypoxia – a lack of oxygen. Increased adrenaline secretion increases blood pressure and leads to an acceleration of heart rate. Such effects of smoking not only worsen overall well-being, reduce activity and performance, but also harm all organs and systems in the body. In addition, smoking is dangerous due to an increase in blood cholesterol, which leads to the risk of blood clots, heart attack and stroke.
Your lungs and airways
The main harm from smoking in the body is due to the respiratory system because tobacco smoke penetrates there first. Harmful substances affect the tissues of the respiratory tract, slow down the work of the cilia of the trachea. Resins settle on the alveoli of the lungs, which leads to a decrease in the area for gas exchange. Nitric oxide narrows the bronchi, making breathing much harder. Carbon monoxide, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide make it difficult to remove toxins from the respiratory tract. As a result, all inhaled substances and microorganisms settle in the lung tissues, from where they are absorbed into the blood and spread throughout the body, provoking a wide range of diseases.
- Skin. Chronic hypoxia and narrowing of the lumen of the vessels lead to a violation of the blood supply to the smoker’s dermis, as a result of which it loses its nutrients and oxygen. The skin takes on a grayish appearance, becomes dehydrated, and looks exhausted. Due to the loss of elasticity, the number of expression wrinkles increases, other negative consequences of smoking occur;
- Figure. Contrary to the widespread myth that cigarettes help to lose weight, the distribution of smoker’s body fat deviates significantly from the norm: fat is distributed mainly around the waist and chest. Deposition is reduced on the hips. There is a disproportion in the circumference of the hips and waist;
- Oral cavity. In addition to severe halitosis (bad breath), the consequences of smoking include: yellowing of tooth enamel, staining of gums. Smoking is harmful to the oral mucosa: it leads to inflammatory diseases and even tooth loss. Another aspect of the harm from smoking cigarettes is an imbalance in the acid-base balance of the oral cavity. It increases the risk of tooth decay, enamel cracks and other pathologies. In addition, smoking harms the health of the periodontium: more than half of all its diseases are caused by cigarette smoking.
What diseases can be caused by smoking?
- Cancer. The most negative consequences of addiction to cigarettes are oncological diseases of the bronchi, lungs, trachea, larynx, esophagus, bladder and pancreas. In addition, kidneys, organs of the reproductive and hematopoietic systems suffer;
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system. These are the consequences of smoking, such as coronary heart disease, Buerger’s disease, disorders in the peripheral vessels, strokes, thrombosis, etc.;
- Pathology of the digestive system. Smoking also damages the health of the gastrointestinal tract, causing the formation of polyps of the colon, gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastritis, gastroduodenitis, etc.;
- Diseases of the respiratory system. Cigarette smoking provokes the development or aggravates the course of bronchial asthma, chronic rhinitis, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchitis, and also increases the incidence of acute respiratory infections and influenza;
- Diseases of the oral cavity. Cigarette smoking can result not only in yellowing of enamel, but also in serious pathologies such as necrotic ulcerative gingivitis, periodontitis, and oncological lesions of the mucous membranes;
- Musculoskeletal disorders. Cigarette smoking has a negative effect on the human skeleton. It adversely affects the condition of tendons and ligaments, as well as muscle tissue. Under the influence of smoking, the absorption of calcium in the body worsens, osteoporosis develops, the frequency of fractures and the risk of rheumatoid arthritis increase;
- Eye diseases. The danger of smoking lies in the provocation of such pathologies as macular degeneration (retinal damage), nystagmus (abnormal movements of the eyeballs), tobacco amblyopia (loss of vision), diabetic retinopathy (retinal vascular damage in diabetes mellitus), cataract, etc.;
- Reproductive system diseases. Smoking is harmful to the genitals. The most common consequences in women are menstrual dysfunctions, decreased fertility, anovulatory cycles, and early menopause. Under the influence of smoking, men’s health suffers no less. They experience a decrease in fertility, sexual weakness, a decrease in the seminal fluid and a deterioration in its quality;
- Other diseases. The consequences of the harmful effects of smoking on the body are vast. In addition to the above pathologies, smokers are at risk of type II diabetes, depression, multiple sclerosis, hearing impairment, and other ailments.
Tips for quitting smoking
- When you decide to quit smoking, think about what you gain instead: your health and health of your loved ones, saving money. Quitting smoking after 6 months will positively affect your health;
- Schedule smoking cessation day in advance;
- Stop smoking immediately, without first trying to reduce the number of cigarettes or switch to “light” cigarettes;
- Try to avoid situations that provoke smoking, including the society of smokers;
- Reward yourself for each completed stage with something pleasant;
- Chewing gum may help overcoming the desire to smoke;
- After quitting smoking, your taste sensitivity improves, appetite increases, which leads to an increase in body weight in the first 2-3 months, so try to eat low-calorie foods, increase your physical activity;
- Do not despair if a breakdown occurs. Repeated attempts increase the chances of success;
- See your doctor for help. He or she may prescribe drug support, which will reduce withdrawal symptoms.