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How smoking affects the body


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Most people are fully aware that smoking can lead to lung cancer, but how smoking affects the body is actually much more than that.

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How smoking affects the body

  1. 1. How Smoking Affects the people are fully aware that smoking can lead to lung cancer,but how smoking affects the body is actually much more thanthat.Cancer of the lungs is only one of the risks run by smokers.Smoking is a high risk factor for several kinds of cancer includingmouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, bladder,cervix and stomach as well as some types of leukemia.As well as cancer, smoking can cause other lung diseases as inpneumonia, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These diseaseswhich come under the term of chronic obstructive pulmonarydisease or COPD can cause chronic illness and disabilities and canalso be fatal. Long-term smokers carry the highest risk of COPDsVascular disease: narrowing or clogging of blood vessels can leadto all kinds of problems. Peripheral vascular disease affects bloodvessels feeding the leg and arm muscles.Problems in the blood vessels feeding the heart can lead to heartdisease and heart attacks, and blocked vessels to the brain cancause a stroke. Men who smoke can find blood vessel disease willcause erectile dysfunction.Eyesight can be affected by smoking: health risks in smokinginclude increased risk of macular degeneration, sometimesleading to blindness. Also premature aging and wrinkling of theskin, halitosis or bad breath, tooth and gum disease, yellowingand brittle fingernails, not to mention revolting smelling hair andclothes.How Smoking Affects The Body
  2. 2. Expectant or nursing mothers have some unique ways of howsmoking affects the body, to themselves as well as the new lifethey are carrying. Women (particularly over 35) who smoke andalso take oral contraceptives have a very high risk of heartattack, stroke and thrombosis. Smoking carries a high risk ofmiscarriage or babies born underweight; which are more likely tohave physical problems, learning difficulties or even risk of death.Nicotine can be passed into breast milk as well as cervical fluids,amniotic fluids and umbilical cord.One of the main health risks in smoking is a shortening of lifeexpectancy: the CDC estimates an adult male will lose anaverage of 13.2 years of life and females 14.5 years, due tosmoking. Add to that the risk of diseases during their lifetimewhich can impair the quality of life long before that. Even withoutcontracting a disease, smoker’s activities are limited bydifficulties in breathing and moving around, both at work andplay.The health benefits in quitting are more than just decreasing thehealth risks in smoking:Just 20 minutes after quitting your blood pressure will drop andyour heart rate decrease2 hours afterwards the carbon monoxide level in the bloodreturns to normalBetween two weeks and three months after quitting, bloodcirculation will improve and lung function increase.Anywhere between one and nine months after quitting you willnotice a marked decrease in coughing and shortness of breath.Lungs will start to regain their normal cilia function (these arehair-fine elements in the lungs that dispel mucus) and increasetheir ability to handle mucus and reduce risk of infection. Thelungs will begin to be cleansed from the inside.How Smoking Affects The Body
  3. 3. After the first year of not smoking, you have reduced the risk ofordinary heart disease by half, compared to a smoker.Five years on, your risk of stroke is reduced dramatically, andbetween 5-15 years the risk will be the same as that of a non-smoker.After 10 years the death rate from lung cancer is reduced by half,compared to a continuing smoker.Apart from the health risks in smoking, what about the moneyyou spend? Look at the price you spend a day on cigarettes andmultiply that by 365. Wow! How much do you spend in a year!Multiply it by 10, and think what you could have done with allthat money instead of burning it over 10 years!All this cost, along with how smoking affects the body mustsurely give you reason to quit. Find yourself a quit smoking planand start it right away!How Smoking Affects The Body