Aside from causing damage to your airways and greatly increasing your chances of lung cancer or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD), smoking messes with almost every other part of your body. This recreational habit causes nearly half a million deaths in the United States annually. Let’s take a look at how smoking affects the different systems in your body:
- Smoking increases your risk of developing oral Cancer. Chewing tobacco further increases this risk. It can also lead to tooth loss and gum disease (periodontitis).
- Smoking can lead to a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels, as well as greatly increase risk of blood clots. Both of these factors combined puts smokers in greater danger of having a stroke.
- Smoking increases your risk of blindness due to macular degeneration.
- Heart Disease. Smokers have a 2-4 times higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than non-smokers.
- Smoking puts you at an increased risk of developing an aneurysm or aortic rupture. It can contribute to blockages that can restrict blood flow to the extremities.
- Smoking can lead to different types of cancer of the digestive tract such as colorectal, esophageal or larynx cancers.
- Smoking increases your risk of developing intestinal complications such as gallstones, ulcers or polyps.
- Smoking can reduced fertility in both males and females. It can also lead to impotence in men.
- Smoking can lead to a miscarriage or increased risk of SIDS death in babies exposed to smoke in the womb or to second hand smoke after birth.
- Smoking can lead to thickened blood vessels, causing them to narrow so blood can’t flow efficiently. This can lead to hypertension or blood clots.
- Smoking can cause also decreased immune function and general inflammation in the body.
- Smoking increases your risk of developing certain autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease.
- Smoking is a lead contributor to type 2 diabetes and diabetes mellitus because it increases blood sugar levels, leading to insulin resistance.
- Smoking lowers estrogen levels in the body which can lead to early osteoporosis, and can weaken your bones in general, which may contribute to easy fractures.
These aren’t even all
the problems smoking can cause. Second hand, or passive smoking, can cause many of these health problems as well. It is particularly dangerous to children and can lead to stunted growth, lung conditions and many more issues. So, do your health (and the health of those around you) a favor and quit smoking today!
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