People who smoke cigarettes claim that it helps boost their mood, alleviates minor depression and soothes anger, some even say it improves concentration and short term memory.
If you didn’t already know, cigarettes contain an addictive substance called nicotine that stimulates the dopamine in the brain. But smoking actually comes with many horrible health effects. it is the leading preventable cause of death is the US.
So what actually happens to our bodies when we smoke cigarettes?
– There are short term issues that happen like smelly clothes, bad breath, yellow or brown teeth stains.
– Smoking can lead to premature wrinkles and sudden weight change.
– The immune system can weaken and stomach ulcers can occur.
– It makes it more difficult to exercise.
– A study in Australia shows that female smokers have even worse menstrual cramps than those that don’t smoke because the uterus receives less oxygen.
It gets worse when you start talking about the long term effects. Smoking related cardiovascular health issues can be very scary and dangerous.
– The damage to the heart and blood vessels are high. Heart disease chances increase by 2 to 4 times same with risk of blood clot.
– Smoking may also lead to coronary heart disease. When the plaque liquids build up in the artery, it can cause heart failure, heart attacks or death.
– Respiratory problems caused by smoking can be dangerous as well in the long term. Our lungs have a layer of internal mucus called cilia that fights foreign materials by wiping them with small hairs to protect the lungs. But in smoker lungs, the cilia is unable function properly.
– Smoking also makes asthma worse and cause chronic bronchitis where there is swelling in the linings of the lungs and then it constrains your breathing.
– If you are pregnant and smoking, there is a higher risk of early delivery, miscarriage or still birth.
– Cancer is another dangerous risk. Cigarettes contain over 7 thousand chemicals, some of them can cause cancer and various kinds of cancer, not just in your lungs.
– Did you know that your body also accumulates harmful radioactive chemicals from cigarettes? These dangerous elements come from the pesticides used on tobacco fields.
– While it is true that smoking cigarettes can cause cancer, there is a more specific substance that is the root cause of cancer among smokers. Tobacco fields typically use calcium phosphate fertilizers, which contain polonium-210. When polonium-210 decays, it releases alpha particles that can damage human cells they come into contact with.
Despite all these scary facts, there is hope if you’re a smoker. Did you know that almost immediately after you quit smoking, your lungs and other smoke-damaged organs start to repair themselves? You can start getting better the day you put down the cigarettes.
Quitting can be hard and takes determination but after learning what happens to your body, it might be worth it to try and stop.