Smoking cigarettes or being exposed to second smoke can lead to some of the most dangerous health problems. There are a variety of reasons why people start smoking cigarettes. Some find it comforting, while others believe that it makes them look cool. The main problem with smoking is that it is very easy to get addicted to and once you start smoking, it tends to become a daily habit.
Tobacco contains some very harmful chemicals like nicotine and cyanide. These chemicals, when inhaled in higher doses, can prove to be fatal. Nicotine is an alkaloid that is used in a number of medicines and insecticides. Although most people who smoke are aware of how dangerous and life-threatening this habit is, they just can’t quit. The main reason for this is that like heroin, nicotine too is highly addictive. Some of the most dangerous effects that smoking has on the human body are explained below.
Heart Disease and Stroke
Due to the mixture of nicotine and carbon monoxide that is present in cigarette smoke, smoking causes a temporary increase in the heart rate every single time. This strains the heart as well as the blood vessels, thereby resulting in high blood pressure. The chemicals present in cigarettes also cause the deposition of fat in blood vessels, causing them to become narrow. This obstructs circulation and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Reduced supply of blood and oxygen is also known to cause paralysis of hands and feet. The fact that approximately 30% of all deaths caused by heart disease are because of smoking shows how dangerous this addiction is for your heart.
Smoking cigarettes can cause different types of cancers including lung, throat, bladder, and stomach cancer. Approximately 30% of all cancer cases and more than 80% of all lung cancers are caused because of smoking. The tar, which is a sticky substance present in tobacco smoke, is responsible for causing lung cancer. People who smoke cigarettes are ten times more likely to suffer from lung cancer than people who don’t smoke.
Smoking cigarettes is among the major causes of emphysema. Emphysema is a chronic health problem that happens because of the damage caused to the walls of the alveoli in the lungs. Smoking causes an increase in the production of those substances that are responsible for reducing the elasticity of the air sacs inside your lungs. As a result of this, there is a fall in the ability of your lungs to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. More than 80% of all emphysema cases are caused due to smoking.
Heartburn and Peptic Ulcer
Since smoking has a negative effect on the entire digestive system of the body, it leads to heartburn and peptic ulcer. It allows the natural acidic juices of the stomach to enter esophagus by causing the lower esophageal sphincter to become weak. This eventually results in heartburn. Smoking increases the risk of infection of the lining of the stomach and also causes increased secretion of stomach acid. This is the main reason why peptic ulcer is far more common among smokers.
Besides increasing the risk of severe health problems explained above, smoking cigarettes weakens the body’s immune system, harms the skin, leads to bad breath, and causes yellowing of teeth. People who some are more vulnerable to respiratory disease like bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. Hence, avoiding smoking is a must for healthy living.