No matter how you smoke it, tobacco is dangerous to your health. There are no safe substances in any tobacco products, from acetone and tar to nicotine and carbon monoxide. The substances you inhale don’t just affect your lungs. They can affect your entire body.
Smoking can lead to a variety of ongoing complications in the body, as well as long-term effects on your body systems. While smoking can increase your risk of a variety of problems over several years, some of the bodily effects are immediate. Learn more about the symptoms and overall effects of smoking on the body below.
Here are some health consequences of smoking you might have heard before..
1. Going Blind
Eye Disease and Smoking: Smoking has long been known to cause heart diseaseand lung cancer; however many people don’t realize that smoking can lead to vision loss. Studies show smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy and Dry Eye Syndrome.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Smoking contributes type 2 diabetes,Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.
If you have type 2 diabetes your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels.
3. Erectile Dysfunctions
Cigarettes can contain up to around 41,000 chemicals, some of which that can cause ED, such as, acetone, arsenic and carbon monoxide. Male smokers have an increased risk of erectile dysfunction due to the damage these chemicals can do to their blood vessels, narrowing the arteries and causing poor blood supply to the penis. Nicotine has a direct effect on the blood vessels that carry blood to the penis, by reducing the blood flow and this makes getting and maintaining an erection difficult. It is advised to avoid all types of tobacco and nicotine to reduce your chances of erectile dysfunction, including vaping. In some cases, passive smoking can also cause erectile dysfunction.
4. Ectopic Pregnancy
Scientists have discovered why women who smoke have a higher risk of developing ectopic pregnancies, a new study revealed today. Ectopic pregnancies occur when the fertilised egg becomes implanted outside the womb, usually in the fallopian tubes.
There are around 30,000 cases in the UK each year.Researchers found that female smokers who have had an ectopic pregnancy have raised levels of a protein – PROKR1 – in their fallopian tubes.The increased presence of this protein is thought to hinder the transfer of the egg to the uterus by preventing the muscles in the walls of the fallopian tubes from contracting.
The team at the University of Edinburgh found that a chemical in cigarette smoke called cotinine is behind the harmful levels of PROKR1.
Dr Andrew Horne, from the university’s Centre for Reproductive Biology, said: “This research provides scientific evidence so that we can understand why women who smoke are more at risk of ectopic pregnancies and how smoking impacts on reproductive health
“While it may be easy to understand why inhalation of smoke affects the lungs, this shows that components of cigarette smoke also enter the bloodstream and affect seemingly unconnected parts of the body like the reproductive tract.”
Smoking is thought to increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy by up to four times.
The egg implants itself in the fallopian tube instead of the womb in 98% of cases.
This can cause the tube to rupture and affect a woman’s ability to conceive in future.
The study, funded by the Wellbeing of Women charity, analysed tissue samples from female smokers and non-smokers, and from women who had previously had ectopic and healthy pregnancies.
Scientists found that women who smoked and developed an ectopic pregnancy had double the levels of the protein in their fallopian tubes compared with women who did not smoke and had previously had a healthy pregnancy.
5. Hip Fractures
Smokers lose bone density at a faster rate than non-smokers which puts you at risk for breaking body parts like your hip. Putting down the cigarettes can help slow down this process and keep you breaking a sweat, not your bones, on the dance floor.
6. Colorectal Cancer
Smoking causes many types of illnesses — including some that people may not immediately associate with cigarettes, such as colon cancer. Smokers not only have a higher risk of developing colon cancer, they also have a higher risk of dying from the disease
7. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Smoking is linked to the development of rheumatoid arthritis, particularly for people who have smoked 20 years or longer.
Smokers also have an increased risk of more-severe rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, they may be less likely to experience remission.
Smoking decreases the effectiveness of some drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and can be a barrier to engaging in activities that may relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, such as exercise.
The exact reason why smoking is linked to rheumatoid arthritis isn’t well-understood, but researchers suspect smoking somehow ignites faulty immune system functioning in people genetically predisposed to getting rheumatoid arthritis.
Both environmental and genetic factors play a role in who gets rheumatoid arthritis, and smoking is considered one of the most important environmental risk factors. But it’s a risk factor that’s completely preventable.
Many people with rheumatoid arthritis aren’t aware that smoking makes their condition worse, so they don’t see it as a reason to quit. Plus, there are factors unique to rheumatoid arthritis that may make it more challenging to quit smoking. These factors include the idea that smoking is a distraction that helps people cope with the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and feelings of isolation and lack of support.
But quitting smoking is important for your overall health too. Along with increasing rheumatoid arthritis risks, smoking also ups your odds of:
- Lung and other cancers
- Respiratory disease
- Cardiovascular disease
If you have rheumatoid arthritis and smoke, quitting could have numerous benefits. Talk to your doctor about strategies to help you quit.
8. Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
Women who smoke while pregnant are 50% to 70% more likely than nonsmokers to give birth to a baby with a cleft lip or palate, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System.
The risk of the disfiguring facial birth defect rises with the number of cigarettes that a mother-to-be smokes each day, even after factors such as maternal race, age, and educational level are considered. The finding, based on the largest-ever examination of cleft lip and palate incidence nationwide, suggests that the deformity should be added to the list of potential harmful effects from smoking during pregnancy
9. Fertility Issues
Can smoking hurt your sperm? Yes. It can also negatively affect your fertility. You already know that smoking is bad for your health and you have likely guessed that smoking is bad for femail fertility In both men and women, smoking has been linked to an increased risk for many cancers, heart disease, emphysema, and a number of other health problems.
The toxins in cigarettes take their toll not only on the lungs but also on the health of your entire body. This includes your reproductive system.
Most notably, the negative effect smoking had on sperm health was stronger in infertile man and in moderate to heavy smokers, compared to light smokers.
When he smokes, it not only decreases his sperm health. It also decreases her fertility.
10. Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection of the gums and can affect the bone structure that supports your teeth. In severe cases, it can make your teeth fall out. Smoking is an important cause of severe gum disease in the United States.
Gum disease starts with bacteria (germs) on your teeth that get under your gums. If the germs stay on your teeth for too long, layers of plaque (film) and tartar (hardened plaque) develop. This buildup leads to early gum disease, called gingivitis.
When gum disease gets worse, your gums can pull away from your teeth and form spaces that get infected. This is severe gum disease, also called periodontitis. The bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place can break down, and your teeth may loosen and need to be pulled out.