Smoking is hazardous to health; everyone knows that. However, many people fail to realize the true impact of smoking, which not only affects the smoker’s health but the health of others surrounding them. People have very little idea of the types of health related issues smoking can cause not just for those who smoke actively themselves but also for people who take in the smoke passively. So, before you pick up another cigarette, here are things you need to know about the effects of smoking:
Effects of Active Smoking
The effects of smoking on those who smoke actively are severe to say the least. It can cause irreparable damage to your health, causing several conditions. Here are some of the most common health effects of smoking:
- The tar found in the smoke of tobacco is responsible for causing different types of cancers including the cancer of mouth, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, leukemia, cervical cancer, stomach cancer and kidney cancer. For regular smokers, the risk of lung cancer increases 10 times while for heavy smokers this risk can increase 15-25 times.
- Smoking has a direct effect on blood circulation and heart, causing an increase in the heartbeat and making your blood pressure rise alarmingly in some cases. Both these effects are caused due to the action of nicotine on your nervous system and your blood vessels. Moreover, the carbon monoxide in the smoke also decreases the oxygen levels in blood while increasing blood cholesterol and fibrinogen levels. This can result in pulmonary vascular diseases, coronary heart attacks and strokes.
- Since the smoke goes directly to the lungs, the most prominent effect it has is on the respiratory system, affecting the bronchial tubes through the accumulation of harmful substance. This harmful substance can obstruct airways and eventually leads to the rupture of air sacs and chronic bronchitis, making people dependent on the use of breathing masks.
- Active smoking can cause a number of genital diseases in both men and women, especially for pregnant women. It can affect the chances of fertility in both men and women and it can adversely affect the sexual function for both as well. Pregnant women who smoke not only increase the health risk for themselves but also put the health of their unborn child at risk, which may be born with several mental and physical health issues since smoking affects the development of the fetus.
Effects of Passive Smoking
Smoking is also quite dangerous for those who don’t do it themselves but are merely at the wrong place at the wrong time, taking in the smoke of the smoker sitting near them. Let’s see what the effects of passive smoking are:
- The smoke of tobacco is heavier than air and does not disperse; instead it cools down rapidly and prevails in the air. People who smoke indoors can cause smoke to permanently linger in the air which can cause irritation to all others who live with them, especially those who have some allergic or respiratory health conditions like asthma or bronchitis.
- Smoking near pregnant women can cause serious damage to not just these women but the developing baby as well. Pregnant women who are exposed to passive smoking during pregnancy are found to give birth to children with comparatively lower birth weight. More severe risks of exposing pregnant women to passive smoking includes heightened risk of premature birth, miscarriage, fatal sleep incidents and poor physical and mental health of the baby on birth.
- The most vulnerable victims of passive smoking are children who can end up with several health issues when exposed to second-hand smoking. Living in a household where someone regularly smokes indoors, children can face issues like sudden infant death syndromes, severe respiratory illness before they are 18 months old, and development of asthma and constant coughs, breathlessness and phlegm.
- People whose partners have a habit of smoking indoors are also at a heightened risk of getting respiratory diseases and other cardiovascular conditions. Short-term exposure to passive smoking can cause people to suffer from high blood pressure while long-term exposure to smoke can result in atherosclerosis.
Every year, a large number of deaths are caused due to both active and passive smoking. Children turn out to be the most common victim of this fatal stick. So, it is high time for you to give up this harmful habit if you care about the health and well-being of yourself, your kids and your family.
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