Many diseases are caused by smoking. In addition, if you smoke, you more susceptible to respiratory ailments as well as coughs and colds. Probably the most well-known diseases caused by smoking are cancer and heart disease. In fact, the majority of lung cancer cases (about 90%) are due to smoking. Other cancers such as kidney cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, cervical cancer and bladder cancer are all attributed to smoking as well.
Cardiovascular disease, as stated, is another major disease caused by cigarettes and is the primary cause of death among smokers. The nicotine in tobacco raises the cholesterol levels in smokers and narrows the arteries resulting in artherosclerosis. As a result the risk for stroke, coronary thrombosis, cerebral thrombosis peripheral vascular disease and heart disease is higher in smokers.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, is also caused by smoking and results in respiratory ailments such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Because smoking can damage the air sacs of the lungs and their functioning in general, COPD is often the outcome.
The reason smoking is responsible for so many health problems is because the chemicals in tobacco increase the levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream as well as damage the linings of the vessels themselves. It also affects people’s oral health as it boosts the risk of gum infection, stains teeth and causes ulcers in the mouth.
Smoking also increases the risk of developing high blood pressure and promotes the chances for miscarriage in pregnant women. Children of smokers often develop respiratory ailments such as asthma and infections of the nose and ear. Cigarette smoke is attributed to some cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) too.
You can practically make a laundry list of the number of diseases that are caused by smoking. When you consider that cigarette smoke contains about 400 toxic substances, then it’s no wonder why this is the case. The tar in tobacco is a carcinogen and causes cancer. Nicotine is responsible for increasing the levels of cholesterol in the body while the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces oxygen in the blood. Generally, smoking will cut one’s life span by about eight years. Therefore, you reduce your life expectancy about ten minutes, on average, for each cigarette you smoke. Statistics reveal though that if you quit smoking now you can look forward to a healthier life in your old age than other smokers your age.
Smoking also increases the possibility of hip fractures, diabetic complications and problems conceiving. By quitting smoking, you can see immediate changes with respect to improvement in your overall health. You’ll not only enjoy heightened taste and smell, you’ll also notice that you will heal or recuperate faster.
As you can see, cigarettes can do extensive damage to one’s health. They play a major role in the development of such diseases or conditions as cancer, cardiovascular disease, infection, pneumonia, tuberculosis, bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, and the gradual loss of eyesight (cataracts). They also contribute to early aging. Other conditions can also result from smoking such as Crohn’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Smoking can cause a host of ailments for smokers and non-smokers alike. By quitting smoking then, you can enhance your own quality of life as well as the lives of your non-smoking friends and family too.