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9 Harmful Effects of Smoking That You Need to Be Aware

9 Harmful Effects of Smoking That You Need to Be Aware





Do you know, tobacco smoking is one of the biggest health threats in the world! Can you imagine the harmful effects of smoking? How many people die because of this? How many people are suffered from dangerous diseases?

Harmful Effects of Smoking
smoking harmful effects

Well! According to the WHO, more than 8 million people die each year due to tobacco consumption.

More than 7 million of those death caused by direct use of tobacco and almost 1.2 million are non-smokers, but they died from direct exposure to passive smoke.

It is estimated that around 98-100 million people died prematurely from smoking. Smoking is responsible for almost 15% of global deaths. Tobacco kills half of its users.

In the case of passive smoking, about 1 million people in India died every year. So, smoking kills. However, 2 lakhs of them died from smokeless tobacco consumption.

All forms of tobacco are harmful, either smoke or smokeless. The most common form of tobacco consumption is smoking cigarettes.

Smoking is not only a public health threat but an economic threat also. The WHO suggested that 80% of the 1.3 tobacco consumers are belonging from low to middle-income countries.

So, it is understandable how harmful its impact is worldwide!



Side Effects of Tobacco


You must hear, smoking is injurious to health. Yes, it is absolutely true.

Smoking or chewing tobacco leads to a variety of complications to our health. It can promote various health issues over several years, while some of them are immediate.

It is dangerous for us, and there is no safe way to tobacco consumption, whether it is a cigarette, hookah, pipe, or any chewable form.

Various tobacco harmful effects are present here. It can damage almost all the body parts and gradually leads us toward death.

Let’s know all the harmful effects so that we can be aware.


i. Smoking Causes Respiratory Damage

The major harmful effects of smoking are damaging our respiratory system in several ways.

Every time we inhale tobacco smoke through cigarettes, pipes, or cigars, various toxic substances enter the lungs, release into the bloodstream, and spread to every vital organ in the body.

Harmful Effects of Smoking
Smoking damages lungs

 Tobacco leaf contains nicotine and numerous harmful chemicals.

When the leaf burns, release more than 4000 harmful gases including carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxides (NOx). 

Smoking damages alveoli of the lungs, and reduces the surface area of gasses exchange.

Due to alveoli damage, oxygen, and carbon dioxide exchange become harder, and little oxygen can pass into the blood. It is known as emphysema.

Not only the lungs, but smoking also damages the trachea, bronchus, bronchioles, etc.

These harmful chemicals damage the lining of bronchial tubes, break cilia, and reduce their mobility. Generally, cilia pushing out pollutants from the lungs through mucus.

Regular smoking decreases the proper works of cilia, and the airways become clogged with mucus. The result is difficult to breathe, and known as chronic bronchitis.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis together cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), it is a critical health issue when the patients gradually lose breathing ability, and there is no cure.

Smoking damage the lungs indirectly also. Due to COPD, the lungs become more vulnerable to any other infections, pollution, and the risk of respiratory failure increases a lot.

Tobacco smoke also promotes asthma attacks.


ii. Smoking Causes Cancer

Another dangerous, and harmful effect of smoking is cancer.

A cigarette is responsible for increase the risk of lung cancer, which is 25 times greater in men, and 26 times for women.

The most common cancer in the world is lung cancer. According to the CDC, 9 out of 10 death due to lung cancer are linked to smoking.

Tobacco contains more than 4000 harmful chemicals, which are carcinogenic compounds including cyanides, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), etc.

The smoking lungs are vulnerable to these carcinogens and lead to cancer.

On the other hand, the carcinogens promote gene mutation, increase DNA damage, or disrupt the DNA repairing process. All of these lead to lung cancer also.

Not only lung cancer, but cigarette smoking can also increase the risk of mouth, and throat cancer, pancreas and liver cancer, kidney and bladder cancer as well as cervical cancer.


iii. Smoking Causes Heart Diseases

Other tobacco harmful effects are heart diseases. Cigarette smoke can damage our entire cardiovascular system.

When nicotine carried in the bloodstream, it stimulates the release of adrenalin hormone, which responsible for increasing blood pressure.

Harmful Effects of Smoking
smoking causes severe heart diseases

On the other hand, nicotine with carbon monoxide damages the inner lining of the arteries and increases plaque deposition in the damaged site. It is known as atherosclerosis.

The atherosclerotic plaque becomes larger, and narrows the arteries, reduces blood flow, leads to severe heart blockage.

The plaque formation also reduces oxygenated blood supply in the heart muscles, which turns into ischemic heart disease as well as a heart attack.

Additionally, smoking is responsible for platelet aggregation in the damaged arteries and promotes blood clotting.

Increased carbon monoxide binds with hemoglobin by replacing the oxygen, and leads to oxygen deprivation with shortness of breath.

The harmful effects of smoking create impacts on the peripheral vascular system. It increases peripheral vascular disease (PAD) by deposition of plaque in the large artery of arms and legs.

PAD also increases the risk of angina (chest pain), blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.


iv. Effects on The Nervous System

The side effects of tobacco are drastic in our nervous system.

Highly addictive, and mood-altering compound nicotine is the most common ingredient of cigarettes.

After the last smoking, within 10 seconds, the bloodstream carries nicotine to the brain and stimulates the release of dopamine as well as endorphins.

Harmful Effects of Smoking
smoking causes brain damage

Both of these neurotransmitters create a pleasurable sensation, which makes smoking highly addictive.

Repeated exposure to nicotine generates desensitization in our brain and makes us crave more and more.

Additionally, smoking tobacco also damages the nerve endings in the nose and causing loss of smell.


v. Risk of Type-II Diabetes

Increasing the risk of type-II diabetes may be a side effect of tobacco.

Regular consumption of tobacco may develop insulin resistance, and trigger diabetes.

On the other hand, pancreatic cancer due to tobacco can lead to high blood sugar.


vi. Pregnancy Complications

According to the CDC, developing pregnancy complications is a critical harmful effect of smoking.

It affects the growth of the fetus in several ways.

Harmful Effects of Smoking
pregnancy complexation for smoking

Smoking can lead to ectopic pregnancy, premature delivery, and sudden death of a fetus.

On the other hand, during pregnancy, the harmful chemicals of tobacco may generate teratogenicity, damage the nervous, and respiratory system of the fetus.

Smoking also contributes to some congenital abnormities, such as cleft lip.


vii. May Induce Infertility

Smoking tobacco can induce infertility in both men and women.

In the case of women, tobacco can damage female reproductive health and makes pregnancy difficult.

On the other hand, smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction in males. It also reduces sperm quality and induces infertility.


viii. Effects on Digestive Health

People who smoke 2-3 times a day, more vulnerable to cancer in the digestive system.

According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is more common in regular smokers.

Harmful Effects of Smoking
side effects of tobacco

Cigarette smokers have a 50% higher risk of stomach cancer. Tobacco can also promote the chances of mouth cancer, throat and larynx cancer, liver and colon cancer.

People who smoke regularly have poor oral hygiene, and suffering from several oral problems, such as bleeding, and swollen gums, sensitive teeth, and mouth ulcers.


ix. Eye problems

Another harmful effect of smoking is eye problems.

Smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and dry eyes.

Additionally, smoking further complicates glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

So, visual impairments are the critical side effects of tobacco.



Now, The Conclusion


Yes, it is true, smoking kills. Several side effects are present from the heart to the gut, from the brain to the lungs.

Millions of people are dying due to smoking, or tobacco consumption in various ways. Those who are not dying, suffering from many diseases.

The number of cancer patients, respiratory illness, heart diseases are increasing day by day.

The harmful effects of smoking also affect those who do not smoke through passive smoking.

Not only our body, but smoking also harms the environment, poisoning our breath.

The only solution is to stop all these harms, quitting smoking. It may difficult to quit smoke, but not impossible.

Harmful Effects of Smoking
say no to tobacco

There are several prescription and non-prescription medications that can help you. Lots of benefits of quitting smoking are present, such as lower cancer risk, healthy heart, improved oral health, and many more.

So, try to quit smoke for your better health. Say no to tobacco.


Thank You.

We will wait for your valuable feedback. How this information will help you quit smoking, please tell us in the comment box.

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  1. I really appreciate you for choosing up this topic of smoking and its consequences. I agree that smoking destroys every parts of the patients. I would also like to add that oral cancer can be cured if detected early and definitive diagnosis is made. At, our doctors exercise thorough examination to diagnose precancerous lesions at early stages to cure the patients.


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