The Effects of Cigarette Smoking and COPD Awareness Month

Nicotine Increases Your Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Diseases (Image Source: Shutterstock)

What Are the Effects of Cigarette Smoking?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five deaths in the US every year will be due to smoking. This translates to more than 480,000 deaths every year.

How do cigarettes affect the body? — Krishna Sudhir │TED-Ed

Cognitive Function

Tobacco contains nicotine. Nicotine is a mood-altering drug that is highly addictive. When you smoke, nicotine reaches your brain fast, which is why you feel a rush of energy. That effect, however, is not long-lasting and soon wears off. When that happens, you feel tired and can’t help but want to light another cigarette. Nicotine is habit forming, which is why people who smoke have a hard time quitting. Physical nicotine withdrawal affects your cognitive function. It leads to feelings of anxiety, depression, and irritability. It can also lead to insomnia and headaches.

Digestive Problems

Cigarette smoking increases your risk of lung cancer as well as other types of cancers. These include mouth, esophagus, larynx, and throat cancer. At the same time, you are also at a greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer if you smoke. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t inhale the smoke. The physical act of smoking alone will still leave you prone to mouth cancer. Cigarette smoking also affects insulin, which leaves you at risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Cigarette Smoking Increases Your Risk of Lung Cancer (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Cardiovascular Health

Nicotine increases your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases that can lead to heart attack and stroke. The nicotine in tobacco constricts blood vessels, which restricts blood flow. Smoking also leads to high blood pressure and a higher risk of blood clots. This leaves you prone to strokes. If you already have heart disease, smoking can worsen that, especially if you’ve had heart bypass surgery, stent placement, or a heart attack. Smoking also affects the cardiovascular health of non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke.

Lung Disease

When people talk about cigarette smoking, lung cancer is at the center of the conversation. Smoking leads to lung damage. The smoke damages the airways and the small air sacs found in the lungs. Cigarette smoke contains nicotine and thousands of other harmful chemicals, which increase your risk of lung cancer. This risk is 25.7 times greater for women and twenty-five percent greater for men. According to a CDC report, nine out of ten lung cancer deaths will be due to cigarette smoking. There are several lung diseases linked to cigarette smoking, the major one being chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). According to the American Lung Association, eighty percent of all COPD deaths are a result of smoking.

The Smoke Damages The Airways and The Small Air Sacs Found in The Lungs (Image Source: Shutterstock)

Effects of Cigarette Smoking: What Is COPD?

COPD is the third-leading cause of death worldwide. November is National COPD Awareness Month. But what is COPD? COPD stands for “chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,” an umbrella term for two types of lung disease: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is a chronic condition resulting from damage to the lung’s alveoli. Chronic bronchitis is the long-term inflammation of the air passage. The primary cause of COPD is smoking, and the best way to prevent it is to quit smoking.

The Primary Cause of COPD is Smoking (Image Source: Shutterstock)

National COPD Awareness Month: Quitting Smoking Is Possible

Cigarette smoking leads to more deaths than HIV and even alcohol and illegal drug abuse. You are at more risk of dying from smoking than falling off a cliff when rock climbing. Smoking affects your overall health and is the leading cause of lung diseases like lung cancer and COPD. Quitting smoking is not easy, but it’s possible. The CDC has a quit-smoking hotline and resources to help you make a plan and find the support you need.

Smoking Cigarettes is The Leading Cause of Preventable Deaths (Image Source: Shutterstock)

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