why smoking is dangerous to our health
If you smoke, you are more likely to have a stroke than someone who doesn t smoke. In fact, smoking increases your risk of having a stroke by at least 50%, which can cause brain damage and death. And, by smoking, you double your risk of dying from a stroke. One way that smoking can increase your risk of a stroke is by increasing your chances of developing a brain aneurysm. This is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. This can rupture or burst which will lead to an extremely serious condition known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which is a type of stroke, and can cause extensive brain damage and death. The good news is that within two years of stopping smoking, your risk of stroke is reduced to half that of a non-smoker and within five years it will be the same as a non-smoker. Your lungs can be very badly affected by smoking. Coughs, colds, wheezing and asthma are just the start. Smoking can cause fatal diseases such as pneumonia, emphysema and lung cancer. Smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD, a progressive and debilitating disease, is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. People with COPD have difficulties breathing, primarily due to the narrowing of their airways and destruction of lung tissue. Typical symptoms of COPD include: increasing breathlessness when active, a persistent cough with phlegm and frequent chest infections. Whilst the early signs of COPD can often be dismissed as a smoker s cough, if people continue smoking and the condition worsens, it can greatly impact on their quality of life. You can slow down the progression of the disease and stopping smoking is the most effective way to do this. Smoking causes unattractive problems such as bad breath and stained teeth, and can also cause gum disease and damage your sense of taste. The most serious damage smoking causes in your mouth and throat is an increased risk of cancer in your lips, tongue, throat, voice box and gullet (oesophagus).
More than 93% of oropharyngeal cancers (cancer in part of the throat) are caused by smoking. The good news is that when you stop using tobacco, even after many years of use, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing head and neck cancer. Once you ve been smokefree for 20 years, your risk of head and neck cancer is reduced to that of a non-smoker. Smoking can cause male impotence, as it damages the blood vessels that supply blood to the penis. It can also damage sperm, reduce sperm count and cause testicular cancer. Up to 120,000 men from the UK in their 20s and 30s are impotent as a direct result of smoking, and men who smoke have a lower sperm count than those who are non-smokers. For women, smoking can reduce fertility. One study found that smokers were over three times more likely than non-smokers to have taken more than one year to conceive. The study estimated that the fertility of smoking women was 72% that of non-smokers. Smoking also increases your risk of cervical cancer. People who smoke are less able to get rid of the HPV infection from the body, which can develop into cancer. Smoking while you are pregnant can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth and illness, and it increases the risk of cot death by at least 25%. If you are pregnant, you can find lots more information on the specialist. The good news is that once you stop smoking, your health improves and your body will begin to recover.
Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general. 1,2 Quitting smoking lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases and can add years to your life. 1,2 Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths. 1,2,3 More than 10 times as many U. S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States.
Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths. 1,2 More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer. Smoking causes about 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women. The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in the U. S. Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. 1,6 Of women developing lung cancer by 25. 7 times Smoking causes diminished overall health, increased absenteeism from work, and increased health care utilization and cost. 1,2 Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils) Trachea, bronchus, and lung Smoking also increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors. If nobody smoked, one of every three cancer deaths in the United States would not happen. 1,2 Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and affects a person s overall health. 1,2 Smoking can make it harder for a woman to become pregnant. It can also affect her baby s health before and after birth. Smoking increases risks for: 1,2,5 Smoking can also affect men s sperm, which can reduce fertility and also increase risks for birth defects and miscarriage. Smoking can affect bone health. 1,5 Women past childbearing years who smoke have weaker bones than women who never smoked. They are also at greater risk for broken bones. Smoking affects the health of your teeth and gums and can cause tooth loss. Smoking can increase your risk for cataracts (clouding of the eye s lens that makes it hard for you to see). It can also cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is damage to a small spot near the center of the retina, the part of the eye needed for central vision. Smoking is a cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus and can make it harder to control.
The risk of developing diabetes is 30 40% higher for active smokers than nonsmokers. 1,2 Smoking causes general adverse effects on the body, including inflammation and decreased immune function. Smoking is a cause of rheumatoid arthritis. Quitting smoking cuts cardiovascular risks. Just 1 year after quitting smoking, your risk for a heart attack drops sharply. Within 2 to 5 years after quitting smoking, your risk for stroke may reduce to about that of a nonsmoker s. If you quit smoking, your risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder drop by half within 5 years. Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk for lung cancer drops by half. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2017 Apr 20]. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010 [accessed 2017 Apr 20]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2013:62(08);155. [accessed 2017 Apr 20]. Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, Gerberding JL. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association 2004;291(10):1238 45 [cited 2017 Apr 20]. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Rockville (MD): U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General, 2001 [accessed 2017 Apr 20]. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Rockville (MD): U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 1989 [accessed 2017 Apr 20].
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