The negative effects of smoking differ from person to person, but the outcome is the same for everyone: smoking puts your body at risk. By smoking you are increasing the pressure on your heart and lungs, so your health will suffer. You are also at risk of developing serious diseases and have a higher chance of suffering from health problems.
Mouth and Throat
Smoking causes unattractive problems like bad breath and stained teeth. It can also cause gum disease and damage to your sense of taste.
The most serious damage smoking causes in this area is an increased risk of cancer in your lips, tongue, throat, voicebox and oesophagus(gullet).
Skin and bones
Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen to the skin. This means that skin ages more quickly and looks grey and dull. The toxins in your body also cause cellulite.
Smoking can cause bones to get weak and brittle. Women need to be especially careful as you are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis than non-smokers.
Your lungs can be very badly affected by smoking. Coughs, colds, wheezing and asthma are just the start.
Smoking can cause fatal diseases such as pneumonia, emphysema and lung cancer. In fact 83% of deaths from lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema are related to smoking.
Because your veins and arteries become blocked and narrow you are at a greatly increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and aneurysms. Aneurysms are blockages which can burst or completely block up. This can lead to amputation or death.
Smokers are more than twice as likely as non-smokers to die from heart disease.
Smoking causes your veins and arteries to get narrower, harder and coated with fatty deposits. This can cause problems like reduced energy and cold skin, but also much worse problems such as cramps, pains and blockages in your veins which cause strokes and heart attacks. Gangrene (resulting from an interruption in blood flow) leads to about 2000 amputations a year in the UK.
You have an increased chance of getting stomach cancer or ulcers. You are also at risk of developing cancers in your kidneys, pancreas and bladder.
Reproduction and Fertility
You may be aware that smoking can increase impotence, but did you know it can also damage sperm, reduce sperm count and cause testicular cancer?
For women, smoking can make you less fertile and increase the risk of having a miscarriage, a low birth weight baby or cot death. Smoking also increases your risk of cancer of the cervix.
It's not all bad news. Once you stop smoking your health improves and your body will begin to recover. Find out about the benefits of quitting.
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