Smoking Effects Don't Make You Cool

Posted on 2013-07-10 22:00:18

Smoking affects almost all the body systems. Smoking and the skin: smoking causes premature ageing of the skin by reducing its elasticity. This results in wrinkling of the skin especially around the eyes and lips. Smoking is also associated with a condition referred to as psoriasis, an inflammatory condition of the skin seen as itchy red patches of skin. Smoking also causes the discoloration of the fingers and finger nails to a yellowish-brownish color. Smoking and cancer: Smoking increases the risk of developing various forms of cancer. The most direct relation has been with lung cancer, with smokers being 20 times more likely to develop cancer than non-smokers. Smoking causes 80-90% of lung cancers in men and women. Smoking also increases the risk of developing cancer of the mouth, the throat, the oesophagus, the stomach, pancreas, bladder and kidneys. Some studies have also revealed a link between smoking and breast cancer. When combined with alcohol intake, smoking increases the risk of developing cancer by up to 38 times. Quitting smoking significantly reduces the risk of developing the above cancers. Smoking and the lungs: Smoking is the biggest risk factor for the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a lung disease that affects the flow of air from the lungs. COPD essentially comprises two conditions; chronic bronchitis and emphysema. However, the two conditions have increasingly been diagnosed just as COPD. The limitation in the low of air is due to the narrowing of airways and collection of mucus and/or the loss of the elasticity of the airways, which affects the narrowing and widening of the airways during exhalation and inhalation. This disease has been colloquially referred to as ‘smokers cough’ due to its relation to smoking. COPD is not curable, but it is preventable. Smoking and teeth: Smoking causes yellowing of teeth and promotes the development of plaque and tooth decay. Smokers are more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers. Smoking and blood circulation: Smoking is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, clogging of the arteries which results in strokes, heart attacks and the development of clots within the blood vessels referred to as deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Smoking has also causes the inflammation of the arteries, veins and nerves, which results in reduced blood flow the body tissues. This lack of blood flow can cause death of some tissues and gangrene, which may necessitate amputation in severe cases. Smoking and sex: Smoking reduces fertility in both men and women, making conception more difficult. Smoking affects the production of sperm, with a reduction in number of sperms and an increase in the production of abnormal sperms. In addition, smoking reduces the blood flow to the penis which may result in impotence. Smoking and pregnancy: Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight babies and still births. Smoking and ulcers: Smoking increases the risk of developing stomach ulcers. Those who continue to smoke after developing ulcers tend to have more frequent symptoms, and the condition becomes harder to treat. Smoking and the bones: Smoking causes the reduction in bone density, a condition referred to as osteoporosis. The bones in this case are weaker and are therefore more likely to fracture and heal more slowly when fractures occur. Smoking and the eyes: Smoking has been associated with worsening of cataracts, the condition that causes clouding of the lens in the eye making it opaque to light hence affecting vision. Smoking and the ears: By reducing the blood flow through arteries, smoking can also affect the blood flow to the inner ears, which can affect hearing. This increases the risk of hearing loss and inner ear infections in smokers compared to non-smokers. With all the above effects, it is clear to see why smoking is responsible for 6 million deaths worldwide; 5 million related to direct tobacco use, and 600,000 related to second-hand smoke. These effects also underscore the need to support all efforts to prevent the onset of smoking and/or to stop smoking.

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