There’s no doubt that the smoking epidemic seems to be one we can’t control. Over 7 million deaths are the result of direct tobacco use, and about 1.2 million deaths are related to second-hand smoke. Over 80% of the 1.1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization. Yet, only 1 in 3 countries monitors tobacco use at least once every five years.
More than 7,000 chemicals are found in tobacco smoke, and at least 250 of those are known to be harmful. Not to mention, at least 69 have been proven to cause cancer. There’s no doubt smoking can have detrimental effects on your body.
How Smoking Affects Your Body
Beyond being linked to an increased death risk, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, smoking directly affects each area of your body differently. Here’s a snapshot of the various ways your smoking habits are changing your body.
Damages Your Heart & Circulation
Smoking increases the risk of conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and other heart diseases. However, after quitting smoking for one year, your risk is reduced by 15%.
Weakens Stomach Muscles
Smokers have a higher risk of getting stomach ulcers and cancers. Smoking weakens stomach muscles responsible for controlling the lower end of your esophagus, which then allows acid from the stomach to go back up, causing reflux.
Makes Skin Age Faster
Because smoking limits the amount of oxygen, your skin ages much quicker than a non-smoker does. Most people who smoke, have a yellow-grey complexion and hollow cheeks.
Affects Bone Health
Both men and women who smoke tend to have weaker bones, leaving them at higher risk for broken bones. Not to mention, bone health illnesses, such as osteoporosis.
Increases Chances of Brain Damage
Smokers are more likely to suffer a stroke by at least 50%. Besides, smoking also increases your chances of developing a brain aneurysm because smoking weakens the blood vessels in your brain.
Damages Your Lungs
Perhaps the one area of your body affected the most due to smoke. Smoking damages your airways and the smaller air sacs found in your lungs. Smoking is also one of the leading causes of lung cancer and increases your chances of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by 13 percent.
Affects Your Reproduction & Fertility
In both men and women, smoking can negatively impact reproduction and fertility. For men, smoking leads to male impotence by damaging the blood vessels that supply blood to the penis. In women, smokers have reduced productivity and increased risk of congenital disabilities and miscarriage.
A Word from GR8NESS
Smoking is one of the worst choices you can make for your health. If you’re ready to quit, seek medical assistance and help. While quitting smoking is not easy, we believe in you. Surround yourself by a reliable support system and slowly but steadily break up with your smoking habits.