Tobacco consumption affects nearly every part of your body, causing numerous deaths worldwide. Each year, tobacco kills around 8 million people across the globe. Of this number, 7 million die from direct consumption, and around 1.2 million die from second hand smoke. Currently, tobacco kills up to half of its users by causing health complications such as cancer, respiratory disease, or heart disease. It also makes people prone to tuberculosis, eye diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and other immune system problems. The adverse effects smoking and tobacco can have on your body are endless, however, TABIIB brings a list of the most common health effects of smoking tobacco.
Smoking And Cancer
Smoking is the most avoidable cause of cancer worldwide. Cancer is a disease that arises when abnormal cells in our body regenerate out of control and invade healthy tissues. Smoking is known primarily to cause lung cancer amongst many tobacco users. As of today, 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused due to smoking. However, smoking not only causes lung cancer, but it can also cause cancer in every part of your body.
Research has identified that smoking causes cancer by damaging the cell’s DNA. A damaged DNA cannot control the function and growth of cells, leading to a tremendous increase in the cancerous tumor. The chemicals in tobacco also affect the human body by weakening the immune system and making it harder to ward off diseases, including cancer.
Smoking And Cardiovascular Disease
Inhaling tobacco smoke is harmful as it consists of a mixture of more than 7000 chemicals. These chemicals are harmful to your body as they interfere with various important processes. For instance, the chemicals intervene with the delivery of oxygen to the heart. This leads to heart and blood vessel damage, causing cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, aneurysms, and peripheral artery diseases.
In addition to the damage it causes to the blood vessels, research also shows that smoking causes the build of plaque (a waxy substance) in the arteries. This buildup often restricts the flow of blood and creates blood clots that can cause heart attacks or strokes.
Smoking And Respiratory Disease
It is a known fact that smoking harms the respiratory system adversely. Lung diseases are quite common due to smoking as when a person inhales tobacco smoke, most of the chemicals get absorbed by the lungs. Even though lungs can protect themselves from harmful agents, these defenses are put to test when smoke is inhaled regularly. In the long term, a smoker’s lungs will get scarred and lose elasticity looking entirely different from a healthy person’s lungs.
Amongst all the respiratory illnesses, smoking is popularly known to cause COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder). To date, smoking is the leading cause of COPD across the globe. Patients with COPD usually suffer from breathing-related problems caused due to the blockage of the airways. COPD is fatal when it causes a lack of oxygen supply to different parts of your body. Apart from COPD, smoking also makes the lungs more susceptible to respiratory infections and lung cancer.
Smoking And Mental Health
In most countries, cigarette packaging itself educates people about the physical health effects of smoking tobacco. Interestingly, not many people are aware of the mental health effects of smoking. It is a common belief that smoking relieves stress and anxiety when the reality is otherwise.
Research shows that smoking increases anxiety and tension. When smokers haven’t smoked in a while, the cravings for cigarettes causes stress and anxiety. Once a person succumbs to these cravings, the nicotine creates an immediate but temporary sense of relaxation, which gives an associated sense of an improved mood. So basically, smoking can reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms, but it cannot reduce anxiety or stress.
Overall, there are several reasons to quit smoking. Smoking not only affects you but also affects your loved ones. Last year, more than 1.2 million people died because they were the innocent victims of second hand smoke. It is unfortunate to see the increasing scale of these tragic deaths as something that is entirely preventable. If you want help with quitting, please do consult a doctor or a therapist who will guide you through the best action plan for the same.