The Most Common Health Risks of Smoking
Many people make a regular habit of smoking and it isn’t surprising that a regular set of diseases are more common to these people. Cigarette smoke has harmful effects on just about every living thing with which it makes regular contact, so poor health shouldn’t be a surprise for those who smoke. It is also not surprising that those parts of the body with the most direct and prolonged exposure to the smoke and its byproducts show many of the worst effects, particularly the lungs and throat. Yet the dangers of smoking go beyond these well-publicized areas of health concern.
The lungs are a gateway to the blood vessels, so the circulatory system is adversely impacted by what comes in through the respiratory system. Smoking is closely correlated with increased incidence of hypertension and associated heart problems.
As if the carcinogens in the smoke itself were not unhealthy enough, the nicotine from the tobacco is a strong drug. It forces the heart to work overtime, while a variety of poisons, such as carbon monoxide simultaneously works to interrupt the function of the circulatory system. Not only does this wear out the heart, but cells throughout the body may be starved of oxygen at a time when they’re being attacked by carcinogens.
Many people are unaware that heart attacks can be directly, immediately triggered by smoking. In most cases this is because the heart is weak or diseased, which are again common health risks of smoking. The circulatory system may also have more cholesterol floating around in it that is more prone to clotting in the heart or traveling to the lungs while a person is smoking. Other circulatory events and diseases closely correlated to smoking include aneurysm and stroke, and peripheral vascular disease is a common result of smoking.
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The lungs are the most well-known victims of smoking. The cilia responsible for keeping your lungs clear can be clogged. All of the cells of the lungs can develop abnormally and even become cancerous. And the cells responsible for removing these unhealthy cells can themselves be destroyed by smoking.
The effects on cells of the lungs are no different than the effects on cells wherever cigarette smoke makes direct contact. Many of the mouth and throat cancers associated with long-term smoking can be quite deadly.
Your eyes, skin, and hair can all develop a variety of conditions from prolonged smoke exposure. Various digestive disorders may be the result of the nicotine. Circulatory damages often lead to damage in the brain, liver, and pancreas. Abnormal bone and muscle formation and elasticity are commonly correlated with smoking.