Keep huffing and puffing on that cigarette and you’ll know the risks of smoking. But, before it gets to you, this article gives you the effects and risks of smoking!

Risks Of Smoking

You can continue eating healthy food – fruits and vegetables – and drink lots of water and exercise religiously but despite all this; if you are still smoking – your health efforts are going down the drain. People just look through “Smoking is injurious to health” signs without paying any actual heed to the warning. You might even think that someone has to be out of their mind to publish something like that on a cigarette packet! But, jokes apart, it is a fact that smoking is not only a risk to you – it is quite a hazard even for people around you. It causes a large number of deaths worldwide and threatens to cause even more every year. Health risks can be acquired without even smoking, such as eating habits, crossing the road but none of them are even half as addictive or destructive as the good old smoking. Smoking kills 400,000 people per year, making it more lethal than any other disease. The following section seeks to help you decide which side of the world you want to be on!

Effects Of Smoking

Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Contrary to popular belief that smoking mostly causes lung diseases, it is seen that the heart is most affected!
  • Smoking causes blood clots in the blood vessels leading to the heart causing coronary thrombosis (clotting in the arteries) and thus a heart attack.
  • The arteries might get blocked in a way that could lead to brain damage owing to lack of blood and oxygen. It might lead to paralysis, stroke or a collapse.
  • There is also a risk of increased blood cholesterol (due to nicotine) that increases platelet count and thus makes the blood thicker and increases the chances of clotting.
  • Increased blood pressure is quite a common consequence of smoking.
Lung Diseases
  • Smoke contains carbon monoxide that is extremely harmful to the lungs and damages the alveoli of the lungs.
  • COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the most common and dangerous consequence of smoking as it reduces the capacity of lungs to inhale air and leads to bronchitis (coughing with the presence of mucous) and emphysema (shortness of breath).
  • As lung function decreases, breathlessness increases. It ultimately leads to death due to slow breaths.
Cancer
  • Lung, kidney, larynx, head, cervix, breast, bladder, esophagus, pancreas and stomach – you name it and it will be a direct effect of smoking. Yes, all these cancers are causes of excessive smoking.
  • The cells in the body start dividing unnaturally due to a polluted environment, caused by the toxins from the smoke such as carbon monoxide, cyanide and 4000 other such dangerous chemicals etc.
  • As if this is not enough, there is also an increased risk of liver cancer, leukemia, ovarian cancer and juvenile cancer (caused by passive smoking).
  • The more the number of cigarettes you’ve smoked, greater the risk of cancer; the deeper you inhale the smoke, the more damaging it is to your system.
Other Risks
  • Kidney problems such as diabetic nephropathy, where there are high amounts of protein in the urine, develop due to diabetes mellitus and are worsened by cigarette smoke. Smokers have a higher chance of acquiring this than non smokers.
  • Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumococcal diseases are more common risk in smokers. These infections also lead to a suppressed immune system.
  • Men beware! Smoking is known to cause impotency. This is because the sperm’s motility is reduced and gets deformed due to toxins. Women also have to fear for their reproductive systems as smoking can cause period pains, conception complications, earlier menopauses etc.
  • The most obvious disease is oral cancer because the smoke enters your mouth first; risks of periodontal diseases, gum bleeding, bad breath etc are also common. Also, since the smoke passes through the throat, there is a high risk of throat cancer.

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