If you are a smoker, you should consider quitting. Smoking can give rise to many diseases and is the cause of million deaths around the world every year.
The Dangers of Smoking
Smoking can cause more deaths than deaths from HIV, drug use, alcohol use, vehicle accidents and firearm injuries combined. This means to say that smoking is just like paving the road to death. This is maybe because smoking can increase the risks for coronary heart disease, stroke and lung cancer. Aside from this, smoking can also give rise to poor health, frequent illnesses, prolonged absences from work and school and increase in health care costs.
So why is it that smoking gives rise to all these harmful effects? First of all smoking gives rise to coronary heart disease and stroke which are the top killers in the world today. Even people who smoke as little as five cigarettes per day are prone to cardiovascular disease. Also, smoking can damage blood vessels in the body, making them narrower and thicker so that blood pressure goes up and the heart pumps harder to overcome the elevated blood pressure. Clots can also form inside the blood vessels, lead to heart attacks and stroke. Heart attacks are due to clots that block the flow of the blood vessels in the heart, depriving your heart muscle of oxygen and nutrients. Strokes occur when the clot lodges inside the blood vessels of the brain so that brain tissue is deprived of oxygen or the blood vessel bursts. Aside from these, smoking also reduces blood flow to the legs and to the skin of the other parts of the body, creating mottling, ischemia and gangrene.
Smoking can also cause lung disease by creating damage to the airways and the alveoli or small sacs in the lungs. It can also cause COPD, emphysema or chronic bronchitis. It can trigger an asthmatic attack especially in patients who already have asthma. Death can result from COPD among smokers. Smoking can also cause cancers especially in the bladder, the blood, cervix, colon, rectum, esophagus, kidneys, ureter, liver, larynx, pancreas, stomach, oropharynx, trachea and lungs. Among pregnant women, smoking can cause preterm deliveries, stillbirth, low birth weight infants, congenital anomalies, sudden infant death syndrome and ectopic pregnancies. Smoking can reduce fertility among men by affecting the quantity and quality of sperm and creating miscarriages and birth defects. Bone health is also affected by smoking, so that smokers often develop lower bone density especially women who are approaching menopause. It also causes gum problems and tooth loss and may also increase your risk for having cataracts. Other problems caused by smoking are diabetes mellitus, inflammatory problems, immune system defects and rheumatoid arthritis. This is why quitting it for only one year can bring about beneficial changes in your heart health. Your risk for stroke also improves as well as your risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder and stroke.
Smoking and Breast Cancer
A new study has shown that young women who smoke one pack of cigarettes a day for a decade may have a significantly increased risk for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. The findings of this study are published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The researchers conducted a population-based study in Seattle among 778 patients with estrogen receptor positive breast cancers and 182 patients with triple-negative breast cancers. Estrogen receptor positive breast cancer is the most common type of breast cancer while triple negative breast cancer is more aggressive. The researchers found out that those young women who were recent or current smokers for over 10 years had a 60 percent chance of developing estrogen receptor positive breast cancers. This is why women who have been smoking need to be extra careful and need to quit smoking immediately.
If you want to know more about the ill-effects of smoking, feel free to read our other articles in this site.