Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases, and reduces quality of life and life expectancy. It has been estimated that, in England, 364,000 patients are admitted to NHS hospitals each year due to diseases caused by smoking.
There are several harmful health effects of cigarette smoking. A person addicted to smoking may suffer from a number of serious and fatal diseases caused by smoking. Smokers are more likely to face respiratory infections and several minor complaints such as coughs and colds. Smokers may suffer from some dreadful diseases such as cancer, heart disease, cardiovascular diseases, lung disease, respiratory problems and several other problems related to kidneys, liver and pancreas.
Cancer: Smokers are at a higher risk of getting cancer. Carcinogen present in tobacco smoke causes cancer of lungs, mouth, throat and gullet. About 90% of lung cancer cases are because of smoking. Smokers can also develop other types of cancers such as bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, cancer of kidneys and esophagus cancer. Female smokers are at a greater risk of cervical cancer.
Cardiovascular Diseases: Cardiovascular diseases are the diseases of heart, blood vessels of the heart and blood vessels including arteries and veins. It is a major cause of death due to smoking. Nicotine present in tobacco increases the cholesterol levels in the blood. Cholesterol and other fats get deposited in the arteries, which causes hardening of arteries. The arteries become narrow, rigid or blocked. Due to atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries), blood clots are formed, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Common cardiovascular diseases found in smokers are coronary thrombosis, cerebral thrombosis, coronary heart diseases, blockage in the legs (peripheral vascular disease) and cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): It is a group of health conditions, which blocks airflow and causes difficulty in breathing. It causes health problems such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is breathlessness that is caused by damage to alveoli (air sacs). Chronic bronchitis causes frequent coughing with a lot of mucus. Smoking is responsible for about 80% of COPD cases. Smoking increases the rate of decline in lung function three times the usual rate. Breathlessness starts due to decrease in lung function.
Smoking badly affects the health of a smoker and of those who come in contact with cigarette smoke. The only way to prevent these health hazards is to quit smoking. It’s never too late to stop smoking, which could protect you and your family from many fatal diseases. After all, health is the best wealth.