Effects of Smoking on Your Body

young-man-smokingSmoking causes cancer, it’s printed right on the package. It is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing thousands of people yearly. Beyond that, smoking has many detrimental effects on your body. 

Here are some of the effects of smoking:

  1. Lung Disease – Lung diseases directly related to smoking include COPD, a group of respiratory disease including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. If you are an asthma sufferer, tobacco smoke can trigger an attack or make your asthma attacks worse. Smoking damages the airway passages and the small air sacs or alveoli found deep within your lungs resulting in decreased and restricted oxygen absorption and flow.
  2. Aging and Wrinkles – Tobacco smoke affects your skin from both the inside and out. Your skin becomes wrinkled and “leathery” as your body tries to expel toxins through your pores. Combine that with reduced oxygen to your skin and the underlying tissues and wrinkles will occur, making you and your skin appear much older than your age. Wrinkles will be most pronounced around your eyes and mouth.
  1. Vision Loss – Smoking can lead to vision changes and eventual vision loss. Studies show smoking increases (nearly doubles) the risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
  1. Hearing Loss – A smoker will lose his or her hearing earlier than a non-smoker. Smoking reduces blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the inner ear. The structures of the inner ear will deteriorate and the smoker will be more susceptible to hearing loss, frequent ear infections and injury from loud or repetitive noise.
  1. Decreased Circulation – Your lungs work at decreased capacity, your heart is less efficient and your blood now carries less oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. This is noticeable first at your extremities, those tissues furthest from your heart, your fingers, toes, penis and nose as well as the small vessels in your eyes. In advanced stages, this decreased circulation can lead to tissue death (necrosis) gangrene and amputation.
  1. Heart Disease – Secondary to decreased oxygen and an increased workload on your heart, smokers are at a much greater risk for heart attack and stroke. When you smoke, your blood thickens, carries less oxygen and more plaque, and you are much more likely to suffer from dangerous blood clots, coronary and strokes.
  1. Diabetes – Smoking amplifies many of the health problems caused by diabetes. Smoking raises blood sugar, reduces the availability of insulin and adds to decreased circulation that often leads to the death and loss of fingers, toes and extremities.
  1. Increased Infections – Smoking weakens your immune system, especially in the lining of your nose, throat and lungs allowing access for harmful bacteria and viruses to take hold.

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