Effects of Smoking

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Smoking isn't good for one's body. Especially if you've been smoking a pack a day, and for a long period of time. But what is the full extent of the effects of smoking on your body?

The effects of smoking varies from person to person as it will depend on the person's vulnerability to the chemical in cigarette or tobacco smoke. It will also depend on the number of cigarette sticks a person smokes per day, the age when the person first started to smoke, and the number of years the person has been smoking.

According to recent studies, every year hundreds of thousands of people all over the globe die from medical complications caused by smoking. Aside from the stench it leaves on one's clothes, breath, and hair, it also has other complications. Here are some of the different effects of smoking:

Immediate effects upon smoking a cigarette stick:

  • Raises a person's blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Decreases a person's blood flow to body extremities like the fingers and toes.
  • The brain and the nervous system is stimulated for a short time and then reduced.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Hyperacidity.
  • Weakened sense of taste and smell.
  • Loss of appetite.

Other effects:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chronic coughing.
  • Reduced overall fitness.
  • Yellowish stain on the smoker's fingers and teeth.
  • Smokers experience more coughs and colds as compared to non-smokers.
  • Difficulty recovering from minor illnesses.
  • Impotence for men, infertility for women.
  • Facial wrinkles appear at an early age, making them look older than non-smokers of the same age.

Because they experience these different side effects, they have a higher risk of developing diseases like:

  • respiratory tract infections (like pneumonia and chronic bronchitis)
  • emphysema (collapse of the small airways in the lungs)
  • heart attack and other coronary diseases
  • different kinds of cancers (lungs, throat, mouth, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, and stomach)
  • stomach ulcers
  • peripheral vascular disease due to a decreased blood flow to the legs

Once a person becomes addicted to cigarettes, they may find themselves experiencing different withdrawal symptoms when they decide to stop. These withdrawal symptoms include:

  • increased nervousness and tension
  • agitation
  • loss of concentration
  • change in sleep patterns
  • headaches
  • coughs
  • strong cravings

For pregnant women, it is important to know that the growing child in their womb may suffer if they continue smoking. The effects of smoking to a growing foetus include: low birth weight, premature birth, or stillbirth. Even those who do not smoke are at risk of incurring diseases. Second hand smoke may cause lung cancer or heart problems to those who passively inhale smoke exhaled by smokers.

Smoking may make a person look cool or macho, but you should consider more than just how it would make you look. Keep in mind that smoking has harmful effects that can end up claiming your life. Before you light up your next cigarette, think of the various harmful effects of smoking and if you'd want that to happen to you.


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