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Health Effects of Smoking - Chemicals found in cigarettes and list of diseases caused by them.

''Smoking causes Death'' is the Statutory warning on the screens displayed when the is a scene displayed shows a person smoking. Even on the cigarette packets we see a scary image of oral cancer with a message " Smoking Causes Cancer". Inspite of all these warnings there is increased incidence of smokers succumbing to cancer or other ailments associated with smoking.
Smoking, Do Not Smoke, Cigarette, Stop, Attachment

Smoking releases nearly 4000 harmful chemicals which are toxic to health.   Few of the chemicals are-

Tar - A dark colour substance which gets accumulated in lungs which may lead to cancer.

Carbon monoxide - A gas which interfere with oxygen carrying capacity to the cells of our body which affects all the organs.

Nicotine- A powerful drug derived from tobacco plants which enters the brain in seconds releasing dopamine and endorphins which makes it highly addictive.

Arsenic- This is a chemical found in rat poisons.

Cadmium- A poisonous chemical used in batteries.

Toluene- It is used in industries as a solvent.

AmmoniaA chemical used in dyes.

Hydrogen cyanide- A Poison and many more which affects our health in many ways.
Let's go through few of them.

Stroke :

The chemicals released from smoking causes blood vessels  to thicken and  narrow causing interrupted blood supply resulting in tachycardia ( high heart rate) and increased blood pressure.
Due to this interrupted blood flow, there is increased incidence of stroke in smokers.

Cancer :

Smoking can cause mutations in our DNA ( Deoxy Ribo nucleic Acid)  causing cancer in any part of the body. It increases a risk of 
  • Oral cancer
  • Throat cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Colo rectal cancer( cancer of colon and rectum)
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukaemia ( blood cancer)Cancer, Newspaper, Word, Magnifier, Magnifying Glass

This shows smoking doesn't only impact respiratory system but it has bad effects from head to toes.

Smoking on Heart health :

There is increased chance of developing CHD (Coronary Heart Disease ) as smoking causes damage in epithelium layer of blood vessels causing blood vessel constriction and also releasing platelets to the site due to damage increasing the stickiness of the blood causing plaque ( Atherosclerosis) resulting in heart attacks.

heart illustration

Smoking on bone health :

There is increased risk of osteoporosis as smoking results in decreased calcium absorption and osteoblastic activity ( Production of bone cells)
Bone, Dog, Skeleton

Smoking on reproductive health:

Smoking reduces the chance of conception .
In pregnancy, if a woman smokes it directly affects fetus normal growth and development . It may also cause chromosomal abnormalities resulting in malformed fetus.

The Uterus, Uterus Shape, The Uterus Model

Smoking on Respiratory health :

Smoking affects lungs directly. Tar,a chemical released gets deposited in the lungs .Damage to the tissue occurs especially cilia, the hair like structure in the lungs which helps in dirt removal. Later stages it affects alveloli which is basic structural and functional unit of lungs impairing the gas exchange causing decreased oxygen levels in the blood . It results in difficulty in breathing. 
Pneumonia, emphysema, Atelectasis , COPD , Asthma are the respiratory diseases that can occur due to smoking.

Lungs, Organ, Anatomy, Bronchia, Bronchial Tubes

Smoking on immune system :

Smoking weakness the immune system making you prone for susceptible infections.

Defense, Protection, Threat, Immune System, Imunabwehr

Smoking on eye health :

Smoking increases the risk of age related macular degeneration , cataract, diabetic retinopathy.
Eye, Iris, Look, Focus, Green, Close Up, Macro, Girl

Smoking on skin :

Skin becomes dry losing its elasticity leading to wrinkle formation.  Skin looks dull.

Quit smoking as soon as possible:

Quitting is not as easy as said. It needs determination, time and patience. But in an end , it is for your best. There is not a single organ left unaffected by smoking . Make up your mind to quit smoking. Doing these things while quitting helps you :
  • Do regular exercise as it releases endorphins which makes you happy and lessens craving .
  • Attend yoga classes.
  • Diversional therapy.
  • Keep yourself away from smoking zones.
  • Take medical help if required.
Conclusion :

Smoking is leading cause of preventable deaths all over the world. Inspite of knowing the health hazards of smoking people continue smoking .If you are non smoker and inhale the second hand smoke it affects you the same as smokers. Therefore, avoid smoking zones and second hand smoke.

Thank you,
Divya Lokesh.


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