Smoking is a controversial topic in most countries. Notwithstanding the risks that smoking cigarettes may pose, The World Health Organisation estimates that 1 billion people around the world smoke. The crushing blow of smoking is death. The number of deaths announced annually is frightening with 6 million people killed annually and over 600 000 dying as a result of secondary smoking. Smoking and risks to health are well-documented. The diseases that smoking causes are mostly serious.
Smoking is single-handedly responsible for a number of cancers affecting the mouth, kidney, bladder, voice box, stomach, liver, pancreas, oesophagus and throat cancer.
Cigarette smoking is likely to cause damage to the circulatory system. And this will lead to diseases such as coronary heart disease, this is because when the blood supply to the heart is blocked and clogged with fatty deposits causing the walls of the arteries to be furred up with fat. For smokers, the nicotine and carbon monoxide from the smoke cause blood clots and put a strain on the heart by making it work much faster leading to heart attacks. Chemicals in the cigarette damage the lining of the arteries that take blood to your brain. This is called cerebrovascular disease. Smoke damages blood vessels in peripheral vascular disease.
Smoking destroys your respiratory system. The chemicals in the smoke cause lung cancer. Apart from this, smoking causes and worsens chronic bronchitis where the smoke with its chemicals cause terminal damage to the bronchi eventually. Smoking damages airways that lead to the lungs in a condition called emphysema. The symptoms of this are a persistent cough and chest infections. When you are active, you experience breathlessness. Pneumonia, the common cold and asthma are ailments that can be worsened by smoking.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause devastating effects. The baby is born with an unhealthy weight because of the imbalances substances such as nicotine cause in the mother’s body. Miscarriages have been experienced by pregnant smokers as well as stillbirths and premature deliveries. On this subject, smoking renders men impotent, since it restricts blood flow to the penis and negatively affects the fertility of both men and women.
Second-hand smoking is dangerous too. The people who inhale cigarette smoke when it is exhaled from another have the same risk factors as the smokers themselves. Lung cancer and circulatory system issues normally accompany these type of smokers. Children and babies who are exposed to cigarette smoke risk getting asthma, coughs and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome SIDS.
Smoking is a killer habit and it can be stopped with rehabilitation. Most of these health complications caused by smoking are expensive to treat and cause a lot of personal upheavals and stress to those who are close to a smoker. If you have never smoked, do not start and if you are into it already, you can seek help to stop smoking before its risks to health catch up.