Effects of Smoking

As a matter of fact, we all know about the ill-effects of cigarette smoke and tobacco use but a smoker really is helpless in front of this menacing addiction. When he has to, he ‘will’ smoke; the underlying psychology is ‘A fag allows a man’. The ‘Will’ is associated with the short term effects. Let us see the quick-effects of a cigarette smoke that makes a man physically and mentally dependent on it. These immediate effects encourage a smoker to take a fag;

  • Nervous system and brain activities are quickened for few minutes by the stimulation caused by smoke.
  • One cigarette quickly increases blood pressure and heart beat rate. At the same time blood flow to the body’s end points is reduced giving numbness to the areas like fingers and toes.
  • Hunger, taste and olfactory senses are weakened.
  • Dizziness is also experienced in many cases.

While the smokers enjoy the short term effects, what about the long-term affects which, most of the time, are irreversible? Smoke actually increases the risk of suffering from life-threatening diseases even if a person quits in the later years of his life. Of course, quitting would at least help to diminish the evil effects of tobacco. Smoking has a permanent effect on the following parts of a human body even if you have smoked for only five years;

  • Lungs,
  • Heart,
  • Eyes,
  • Throat,
  • Urinary tract,
  • Sex organs,
  • Women’s fertility zone,
  • Men’s sperm production,
  • Digestive organs,
  • Bones and joints,
  • Skin

The intensity of the irreversible effects of smoke depends on certain factors;

  • The quantity of cigarette smoke per day;
  • How old was he when he started smoking;
  • Number of years a person has smoked;
  • Level of resistance to the tobacco chemicals;

Let us understand the effects of smoke one by one:

The effects of smoking on human health are serious and in many cases, deadly. There are approximately 4000 chemicals in cigarettes, hundreds of which are toxic. The ingredients in cigarettes affect everything from the internal functioning of organs to the efficiency of the body’s immune system. The effects of cigarette smoking are destructive and widespread.

Smoking Effects on the Human Body

  • Toxic ingredients in cigarette smoke travel throughout the body, causing damage in several different ways.
  • Nicotine reaches the brain within 10 seconds after smoke is inhaled. It has been found in every part of the body and in breast milk.
  • Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells, preventing affected cells from carrying a full load of oxygen.
  • Cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) in tobacco smoke damage important genes that control the growth of cells, causing them to grow abnormally or to reproduce too rapidly.
  • The carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene binds to cells in the airways and major organs of smokers.
  • Smoking affects the function of the immune system and may increase the risk for respiratory and other infections.
  • There are several likely ways that cigarette smoke does its damage. One is oxidative stress that mutates DNA, promotes atherosclerosis, and leads to chronic lung injury. Oxidative stress is thought to be the general mechanism behind the aging process, contributing to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and COPD.
  • The body produces antioxidants to help repair damaged cells. Smokers have lower levels of antioxidants in their blood than do nonsmokers.
  • Smoking is associated with higher levels of chronic inflammation, another damaging process that may result in oxidative stress.

Read more about how cigarettes harm us from head to toe: The Effects of Cigarette Smoking

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. 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, 2004.


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