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How Does Smoking Affect Your Health?

“Cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health.” This is a warning that we read from a pack of cigarette. Why is it that the efforts of healthcare professionals and health care agencies warning people of the harmful effects of smoking remain useless? What is it in cigarettes that make smokers crave for it?

Thousands of people die every year of different diseases caused by smoking cigarettes. Diseases like cancers, diabetes, and atherosclerosis are all related to tobacco smoking. How does this killer cause diseases that will all lead to one’s death?

Carbon monoxide (a gas that enters the body through smoking) and nicotine (a harmful and addictive carcinogenic) temporarily increases heart rate and blood pressure. Furthermore, nicotine, which is a potent vasoconstrictor, could cause deposition of fats in the lining of blood vessels causing atherosclerosis.

Carbon monoxide, on the other hand, binds with oxygen which causes hypoxemia. The body would then compensate to the decreased level of oxygen and would produce high levels of haemoglobin in the blood that carries oxygen to the organs. If there are depleted levels of oxygen, the farthest parts of the body or the extremities could be deprived of oxygen and would cause tissue necrosis. The death of the cells would end up with the legs or fingers being amputated.

Tar that is found in cigarette could be inhaled by the smoker. This coats the lungs like soot coming from a chimney. This causes the lungs to not function efficiently. Chronic smoking could lead to respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as emphysema.

Cigarette smoking causes diseases that can make one suffer for years. Emphysema or the rupture of the air sacs of the lungs (alveoli) would make one end up with an oxygen tank at home or become totally dependent to volume respirators.

Cigarette smoking in pregnancy could cause birth defects such as a birth weight below normal and could even lead to abortion of the fetus. Cigarette smoking could also lead to a low sperm count and infertility among men and women.

Neurologically, cigarette smoke could also cause death of brain cells.

Also, smoking causes halitosis (bad breath), it stains the teeth and causes oral cancer.

Smoking also causes or hastens aging.

Second-hand smoke or side-stream smoke could cause even greater harm to non-smokers.

There were cases that a smoker’s wife develops diseases caused by smoking. This shows that smokers don’t only put their health at stake but also that of their family.

It causes hundreds of diseases involving all organ systems in the body. If we discuss the pathophysiology of diseases, we would find out that many of these are related to smoking cigarettes. If we want to save our life for our good and the good of our family, quit smoking. Every person on his deathbed will surely look back to his past and regret things they have done to abuse their body. Quitting smoking requires motivation or strong will. It should be done as early as possible before it is too late. Remember, regretting things always come in the end.

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