Smoking is still very popular among people of all ages. Both men and women smoke and possibly many are completely ignorant of what is happening in their body because of it and of the dangers of smoking. There is no doubt that it is unhealthy for any tobacco user and the side effects of smoking are not pleasant to hear about or to experience.
The effects of smoking go way beyond you because they also affect others around you. Not only do cigarettes and cigars stink, but some of the effects can raise some health risks of those closest to you.
What does smoking do to your body?
The longer you continue to smoke, the more likely it is that you will experience one or more smoking complications or diseases. When answering the question "what does smoking do to your body?" and looking at it honestly, you will see that none of them are good and many of them are fatal.
Before getting to the more severe problems you need to be aware of, there are some more mild things that may happen to you first. They include:
- Faster aging – If you care about looking younger and staying healthy, smoking is not the thing to do. It will speed up the aging process, causing you to wrinkle at a much younger age.
- Smokers lips – This is the result of premature aging. It will cause the skin around your mouth to wrinkle. Tobacco smoke restricts the flow of blood to your lips and surrounding areas, and this lowers the flow of nutrients and oxygen your lips need to keep them healthy. Your lips may also turn darker and splotchy as a result of pigmentation spread unevenly. The constant puckering on cigarettes also promotes smokers lips.
- Stained Teeth – Tobacco will stain your teeth. Over time, they will become an ugly brown instead of the beautiful white that they should be.
- Gum disease – The chemicals in tobacco products and smoke will make it much more likely that you will get gum disease. The reduced oxygen and nutrients also weaken the immune system in your gums and allow the bacteria that cause gum disease to multiply faster. This disease can rapidly become periodontitis, which will destroy your gums and cause your teeth to loosen and possibly even fall out – if it is not treated by a dentist.
- Smokers cough – Smokers will develop smokers cough because of the chemicals that it puts into the lungs. The lungs after smoking will have some tar on them that has coated them. As a result, your lungs and airways will produce mucus and force you to cough. This is how the body helps you get rid of problems in the lungs. Unfortunately, the tar and other chemicals coat the lungs and make it more and more difficult to remove the chemicals. It will also kill some of the cells responsible for removing the chemicals. This will give you smokers lungs. A comparison of smokers lungs vs healthy lungs clearly show a difference. The cough may also be a symptom of COPD.
- Sore throat from smoking – The heated smoke going into your throat and lungs is going to cause the tissues in your throat to dry out. It will also irritate the tissue and they will become inflamed, giving you a sore throat from smoking. This can also lead to throat cancer.
- Diabetes – There is also a strong connection between smoking and diabetes. Smoking makes you 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop diabetes. Once you have diabetes, using tobacco will make it harder to control, which leads to the next problem. Smoking and diabetes will make your diabetes complications risk much higher. They include heart disease, kidney disease, retinopathy (which can cause blindness), poor circulation in your legs and feet (which may result in amputation), and pain and weakness in your extremities (peripheral neuropathy).
Smoking affects every organ in your body, including the lungs. Smokers lungs could easily develop several diseases of the lungs that could result from smoking, which would make a big difference between smokers lungs vs healthy lungs. Of course, the more you smoke and damage lungs after smoking, the greater the risk of developing the following lung diseases:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – the third leading cause of death in the United States
- Chronic bronchitis – a form of COPD
- Emphysema – another type of COPD
How many people die from smoking?
Every year, there are currently about 480,000 people that will die from smoking. This is a little more than 1,300 per day. Anyone asking why is smoking bad for you needs to seriously look at these figures. They will die from many causes, but those health problems were initially caused by smoking. This deadly habit kills more people each year than the combined numbers of those who will die from car accidents, guns, illegal drugs, alcohol, and HIV.
Another reason why is smoking bad for you is that people who smoke shorten their lives by several years. Males who smoke will take about 12 years off their life and women who smoke shorten their lives by 11 years. One-half of all smokers will die from a disease related to smoking. Each cigarette you smoke will shorten your life by 11 minutes.
When considering the question of how many people die from smoking, those who die from second-hand smoke must also be accounted for. This is an additional 45,000 people each year. Most of them will die from heart disease (42,000) and another 3,400 people will die from lung cancer.
What are other dangers of smoking?
In addition to the above problems, there are also some other smoking diseases. They may include:
- Cancer – Smoking can cause many types of cancer and it can cause them to appear anywhere within your body. It can produce the following kinds:
- Oral (mouth and throat)
- Blood (leukemia)
- Fertility problems – Some side effects of smoking affect the fertility of both men and women. It will make women less likely to become pregnant and men will have less fertile sperm. The sperm may have genetic problems that can lead to birth defects and miscarriages. Restricted blood flow will also make it harder to have an erection (ED). When children are born to women smokers, there is a much greater risk of pre-term delivery, a stillbirth, cleft palate, or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Weaker bones in women – Women who have entered menopause and smoke are at a much higher risk of weaker bones than women who never smoked. This makes it more likely that bones can break.
- Cardiovascular disease – Among the list of smoking diseases, smokers are much more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. The chemicals will damage your blood vessels and cause them to become thicker. This narrows the passageway for the blood and it will make your heart pump harder and faster, making your blood pressure increase. This process also makes clot formation more likely. At the same time, smoking will also lower your good cholesterol (HDL) levels, which may increase the accumulation of material on the walls of your arteries and blood vessels.
- Increased illnesses – Smoking raises your risk of getting many more health problems than non-smokers. This is because lighting up reduces the effectiveness of your immune system. The lowered immune system also means that when you do get an illness that the symptoms will be stronger than in someone who does not smoke.
- Sleep problems – The nicotine in tobacco is a stimulant. If you smoke right before bed it can make it harder to fall asleep. It will prevent you from getting as much deep sleep as someone who does not smoke. During the night, you may get nicotine withdrawal, which will also make it harder to sleep. It may cause insomnia or make it worse.
- Sleep apnea – Smoking may also influence snoring and sleep apnea and make them worse. The irritation of your throat tissue will cause it to be inflamed and this can narrow your air passageways. Sleep apnea will further reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood flow, which will also lead to cell death in your organs and it will ultimately be fatal.
- Polyps – As the throat is exposed to smoke, it will make the tissues inflamed and swollen. It can also thicken the tissue in your throat which is going to change your voice, and polyps may also develop on your voice box.
Teens and Smoking
When teens use tobacco, it has been found that there are more likely to be problems. They are more likely to carry weapons, get into fights, attempt suicide, have mental health issues, depression, and engage in high-risk sexual behavior.
One recent invention that is becoming very popular among teens is vaping. These devices soared in popularity among high school students before they had been thoroughly tested for safety. Some of the liquids that go in them contain nicotine.
Nicotine is highly addictive. It produces some of the same effects on the brain as heroin and is at least as difficult to stop. There are also many flavors of the liquid that do not contain nicotine.
If you are wondering about vaping, you may want to look into some of the latest news online about vaping vs smoking. New things are being discovered about this trend and you will want to know the latest news before getting started.