19 Harmful Changes On Your Body When You Smoke Cigarettes
Is Cigarette Really Harmful?
Smoking for some people is a symbol of manhood or a symbol of masculinity. Yet when asked each and every smoker, they will always advise others not to start smoking because they themselves know what the effects are on themselves and how difficult it is for them to quit. Smoking only has a tendency to give a harmful effect on our health. In this day and age, the whole world is increasingly concerned about the issue of smoking. Education about the dangers of smoking has started since school. You can also see the government has taken the initiative to provide awareness to consumers by placing pictures of the effects of smoking on cigarette boxes. The public is already aware of its downside but there are still many who smoke it. Cigarettes not only harm the individual who smokes them, but the effects of smoking in public places can also harm the people around them.
It has been proven that cigarettes contain 600 ingredients that will activate 7000 chemicals every time you light a cigarette and 69 of those ingredients are carcinogens that cause cancer. The nicotine found in cigarettes also plays a role in making you addicted to cigarettes. One study showed that nicotine addiction could be as strong as heroin. Find out if you're nicotine-dependent with this quiz! Let's dive deeper into the dangers and the effects of smoking on our bodies.
What Happens To The Body When You Smoke Cigarettes?
Among the effects of smoking on the lungs is lung cancer. However, it is a long-term smoking effect. There are various other diseases that can occur as a result of smoking and some of these diseases will cause permanent damage to your lungs even after quitting smoking and getting treatment.
1. Emphysema. This disease causes shortness of breath. The more you smoke, the higher your risk of getting the disease. Smoking causes damage to the air sacs (alveoli) which are important in the exchange of oxygen gas and carbon dioxide in the blood and lungs.
2. Chronic bronchitis is a chronic pulmonary obstruction (COPD) disease such as emphysema. Although it falls into the same category as emphysema, chronic bronchitis is caused by infection and is caused by smoking. Cigarettes weaken the immune system and cause smokers to easily get lung infections.
3. Lung cancer. 70-80% of lung cancer deaths are among smokers. However, if you quit smoking you are able to reduce the risk of lung cancer even if you have been smoking for many years.
Heart and blood vessels
The heart is the basis for the function of our body to function smoothly. The heart serves to pump blood and supply oxygen to other cells and organs. So the heart is important in keeping organs and cells functioning smoothly. Among the effects of smoking on the heart and blood vessels are:
4. Narrowing of blood vessels. Nicotine will cause blood vessels to narrow and indirectly block and reduce the flow of blood. This affects the function of the heart in supplying oxygen to the heart cells themselves. A heart made of muscle needs a high supply of oxygen because the heart is constantly working to pump blood throughout the body. This condition can lead to a heart attack.
5. Stroke. Among the effects of smoking are increasing blood pressure, weakening blood vessels, and causing blood vessels to clog. All of these effects can cause a stroke.
Among the effects of smoking is addiction caused by nicotine. Nicotine can make a person feel happy. Nicotine has properties like the hormone dopamine which plays a role in improving a person's mood. This effect increases the desire to smoke and causes addiction. However, this happy feeling is just a falsehood because smokers are not aware of the bad effects that occur on their brains due to this addiction! Among the effects of smoking on brain function are:
6. Reduced cognitive function. In general, these cognitive functions play a role in our ability to think, memory and process information. This function will decrease with increasing age. However, studies have shown that smoking causes this function to decline faster than non-smokers.
7. Dementia. Smoking increases the risk of developing dementia. Dementia is a disease of loss of cognitive function. Symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty making assessments, emotional changes, and changes in character. More than half of dementia patients will develop Alzheimer's disease.
For your information, smoking also causes various diseases of the digestive system such as oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. In fact, many are unaware that gastric disease can be caused by smoking. Among other diseases due to the effects of smoking are:
8. Heartburn. The effects of smoking will cause weakness in the upper abdominal valve known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which functions to prevent the regurgitation of the stomach upwards into the esophagus. The weakness of the valve causes the inability to close. This will cause regurgitation of stomach acid and leading to acid disturbances in the area below the esophagus and will cause chest pain such as burning.
9. Peptic ulcer. Malaysians recognize the disease as “gastric”. A peptic ulcer is caused by a wound on the abdominal wall and part of the small intestine caused by an increase in acid in the stomach. In general, our stomach does produce acid for the digestive process but too much acid causes wounds on the stomach wall. Among the causes of this increase in acid is due to H.Pylori bacterial infection and the risk for this infection is increased due to smoking.
10. Liver disease. The liver plays a role in removing toxins in the blood. Cigarettes can cause your liver to lose this function.
11. Crohn's disease. In addition, smoking can cause inflammation of the small intestine accompanied by symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Nicotine will disrupt blood flow to the male and female reproductive organs. The result is:
12. Erectile dysfunction. As already described, nicotine interferes with blood flow due to the effect of narrowing blood vessels, thus it also disrupts the blood flow to the penis. Erections depend on blood flow. Blood flow disorders due to smoking make it difficult for men to achieve an erection or maintain an erection.
13. Libido decreases. Libido or desire to have sexual intercourse will decrease due to the effects of chemicals in cigarettes.
14. Infertility. The substances in cigarettes can damage the DNA in sperm and ovum which is important for fetal production. Impotence can also be a cause of infertility while women who smoke can experience menopause earlier.
Among the effects of smoking that can be seen in a short term amount of time, is a change in appearance. Smoking causes damage to collagen tissue and disrupts the elastic function of the skin. It also causes a decrease in wound healing rate and increases the risk of infection.
15. Dull skin. Smoking will make the skin look dull, gray, and lifeless. Nicotine disrupts blood flow to your skin and indirectly blocks oxygen supply to the skin.
16. Yellow teeth. Among the effects of smoking is the cause of teeth to turn yellow and worse is to have the teeth turn black or brown due to the effect of tar on the teeth.
17. Yellow nails and fingers. The tar in cigarettes is also able to make nails and fingers yellow. However, these symptoms will fade when you quit smoking.
18. Hair loss. Smoking makes hair lose strength, dull, and easy to fall.
19. Skin cancer. A study has shown that smoking also increases the risk of skin cancer.
Hopefully, with all this information, you can become more aware of the effects of smoking and take it as a turning point to quit smoking and live a healthier life. Quitting smoking is not an easy task and will be a challenge along the way. But with a strong determination, you are able to live a healthier life and free from smoking. Talk to a doctor today for tips to quit smoking today.
*The free doctor consult initiative is supported and fully funded by DoctorOnCall