It is well-known that smoking causes cancer, but it also causes several other diseases. Cigarette smoke contains nicotine, which causes dependence and consequently, the continuous use of tobacco products. Beside nicotine, there are thousands of harmful substances inside cigarettes, which do not only impair the lungs and the respiratory tract, but practically every cell of the human body. Smoking is the No. 1 cause of mortality and morbidity, which could have been prevented.
Smoking was once considered as a symbol of prestige but eventually people started to consider smoking as useless, noxious habit, which is life threatening. Despite the mighty influence of tobacco companies, it was proven that smoking has a direct impact on the formation and development of several diseases.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Smoking is almost the only reason for the occurrence of COPD. Smokers consider their morning cough as something normal. However, chronic cough is often the first sign of a disease that remains overlooked and therefore untreated. The only effective remedy that stops the progression of the disease is to stop smoking. Damage that was already caused by smoking cannot be fixed.
Cancer: Cigarette smoke contains many carcinogens. Nine of the 10 patients with lung cancer are smokers and age limit for lung cancer morbidity is decreasing. At the beginning of this century when smoking was not yet a generally widespread habit, lung cancer was extremely rare, almost unknown disease. Smoking is also a major risk factor for oral and throat cancer. Smokers are more likely to get cancer of the esophagus, stomach and intestines. Cancer of the bladder, prostate and kidneys is also more common for smokers. Smoking is also a risk factor for the development of breast cancer, cervical cancer, leukemia, skin cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
Cardiovascular disease: Smoking accelerates the formation of atherosclerosis and increases the chance of heart attack and stroke. The risk of dying from stroke is twice as high as in non-smokers.
Pregnancy: Pregnant women who smoke, impair the health of the unborn child. On average, their children have lower birth weight and reduced pulmonary function. Children of smokers have a higher risk of developing asthma and are often exposed to passive smoking, which is also harmful.
Other diseases: Smokers are more prone to infections. Smoking is responsible for one-quarter of all stomach wounds. Diabetes is more common for smokers and diabetics who smoke are also more likely to develop renal complications of diabetes. Smoking increases the risk of some rarer skin diseases and slows wound healing. Smokers are more likely to suffer from depression. Smoking also causes impotence and reduces fertility.
Although many smokers believe that nicotine causes diseases, they are wrong. Diseases are caused by cigarette smoke, which contains carcinogens toxins and many other toxins. Several smoking-related diseases have caused a noticeable decrease in smoking and are the main reason why most smokers decide to quit smoking. Smoking cessation markedly reduces the risk of the above-mentioned diseases .Many smokers quit successfully and without any particular problems, others need help and support.
By Janette Verdnik