Why Smoking is Considered Harmful

Smoking is directly responsible for tons of diseases and smoking could also lead to organ problems, damaging organs in the long run. In the United States alone around 480k people die due to the use of tobacco solely. That is one in five deaths in the United States. More than HIV, alcohol, accident and drugs combined together kills less people than tobacco does. Tobacco shortens life span in women by eleven years and among men twelve years. Cigarettes are made of nicotine and other chemicals like tar and carbon monoxide. Tar and Carbon Monoxide are two most dangerous components in the cigarette.

Tar- Tar is a brown sticky substance that covers the lung and that affects breathing.

Carbon Monoxide- Carbon Monoxide stops organ from functioning structuring the flow of oxygen to other organs in the body.

Bone

Smoking can lead to broken bones and osteoporosis, which is too common in women as they are more prone to get brittle and weak bones.

Brain

The chances of getting a stroke are quite high due to smoking. It damages brain and can cause death. Through stroke you can get an injury called aneurysm. That you can get when the blood vessel get weak which results in a bulge which can eventually burst which is called subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Cardiovascular

Plaque is caused due to smoking that gets produced in the blood resulting in restricting the blood flow due to it being stuck on the walls of the arteries resulting in clotting. It causes narrowness in arteries making difficulty in flow of blood lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure. Smoke increases the chances of heart related problem s and cardiovascular diseases. Narrow or blocked arteries causes coronary heart disease which is one among the leading cause of death in US. Smokers are twice as likely to have heart attacks and chest related pain. Smokers find it difficult to do exercise or physical work because carbon monoxide and nicotine in cigarettes make the heart work harder and faster.

Immune system – Smoking compromises against the immune system that protects our body from infections and diseases leading to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Lungs – Need not say, lungs are the most obvious body organ that is affected by smoking and has different impacts on it. Primarily it damages the air sacs in the lungs. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema are a few lung diseases that are caused by smoking. It often takes years to for these diseases to become noticeable and are often not diagnosed until it’s in the advanced stage.  Asthma and pneumonia are the most common lung diseases caused by smoking.

Mouth – Bad breath, stained teeth, tooth loss, gum swelling and diseases, damaged taste buds and throat cancer are the most common effects of smoking.

Reproduction – Smoking damages blood vessels in the penis leading impotence in men and also causes lower sperm count. Women who smoke during pregnancy put the foetus at  risk, risk including  miscarriage, premature birth,  still birth, infant illnesses, low birth weight etc.

Skin – Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the skin leading to premature-ageing by 10 – 20 years and makes facial wrinkling.

Health Effects of Tobacco

Tobacco has a predominantly negative history with human health. Smoking tobacco causes exposure to a lethal mixture that can damage nearly every organ in the human body.  More than 6 million people per year die across the globe from the use of tobacco. Most tobacco related deaths occur in middle and low income countries.  Tobacco is a common name used for several plants and it has long been grown and used by humans. The most important and dangerous constituents of tobacco are Nicotine, Carbon Monoxide and Tar. Most commonly used forms of tobacco are cigarette, bidi (most commonly used in India), cigar, hookah, snuff, tobacco chewing and E-cigarette. Diseases such as cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease are the leading cause of deaths associated to use of tobacco and affects all age groups. One person dies every 6 second due to use of tobacco.

Effects of tobacco on health

Physiology – Brain: Use of tobacco causes headaches and dizziness. Nicotine makes a person feel good when smoking but makes the person anxious, moody, nervous, and depressed after its intake. It can also lead to brain stroke.

Heart:  it increases blood pressure and heart rate and causes heart diseases. Heart of a tobacco addict has to work harder to keep up when extra physical work is put in.

Lungs: it causes troubled breathing because tobacco damages the lungs. Tobacco causes lung cancer, asthma, vigorous coughing and other lung diseases.

Mouth: Tobacco ruins taste buds and enables one from differentiating different flavours. It stains teeth giving it a yellow or brown colour and also causes bad breath. It causes bleeding of gums and mouth & throat cancer.

Muscles: It causes less flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles causing pain when done physical work.

In also causes increased susceptibility of infection, lowers fertility rate, damages the sperms, reduces sperm count, irregular periods, increased risk of miscarriage, early menopause and causes impotency.

Psychology – Smoking and anxiety: Smoking raises levels of anxiety and depression. Nicotine gives a short-lived feel good experience but it fades away quickly and causes anxiety. Intake of nicotine causes the brain to switch off the natural supply dopamine chemical, as the supply decreases people tend to smoke more.

Smoking and stress:  People may use tobacco or smoking as a stress buster and it also helps for a short period but it does not address the underlying causes of stress and causes greater health problems.

Tobacco not only affects the smokers but it also greatly affects the non-smokers.  Second-hand smoke is smoke from the burning of tobacco or tobacco products such as cigarette, cigar, bidi etc. It is the smoke exhaled by the smokers. It has its ill effects on non-smokers, specially the children and pregnant women although any person spending much time around smokers are at great risk of developing a tobacco or smoking related illness. Moreover, exposure to smoke during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, still birth and placenta abruption. It decreases the oxygen level in the body which may cause premature birth. Because children are constantly exposed to second hand smoke they are at a greater risk of developing respiratory infection, slow or incomplete lung development, poor dental health, learning and behavioural problems.