11-18 | By CSAA Team
Smoking is one of the most preventable causes of deaths in the United States. Smoking doesn’t kill people immediately, it ruins the health of the smoker slowly, over time and eventually leads to the person’s death. Smoking is associated with a number of diseases and can affect any part of the body.
As a part of the series, “Smoking is injurious to health,” this last article highlights some of the deadliest illnesses that are a result of this habit.
When we talk about the diseases caused by smoking, the following top the list:
Lung cancer is possibly one of the most serious illnesses caused by smoking. Researchers have found that lung cancer is caused by the damage of the cells that line the lungs. Inhaling smoke that is full of carcinogens creates anomalies in the lung tissue almost immediately after smoking cigarettes.
In the initial stages, the body repairs the damage. But with increasing and regular exposure, normal cells that line the lungs are gradually damaged beyond repair. Over time, these damaged cells may act abnormally resulting in lung cancer.
Smoking is the leading cause, and a trigger, for COPD. Repeated smoking damages the air sacs, airways and the lining of the lungs. The damaged lung finds it difficult to circulate enough air properly, making it difficult for a person to breathe.
Smoking can cause an exacerbation, or flare-up, of the symptoms of COPD. It is not necessary to be a smoker for having COPD. Exposure to secondhand smoke can also trigger COPD flare-ups.
Continuing to smoke while suffering from COPD can rapidly damage the heart. Smokers also have a high probability of acquiring diseases similar to that of COPD if they continue with their habit.
Smoking damages the lining of the arteries and results in the buildup of fatty material (atheroma) that narrows the artery. The blockade can cause angina, a heart attack or a stroke.
The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen that gets mixed with blood and is essential for health. As a result, the heart has to pump harder to provide an adequate supply of oxygen to the body.
Further, nicotine stimulates the body to produce adrenaline, increasing the rate of heartbeat and the blood pressure levels, which means the heart has to work harder. Smoking also increases the chances of blood clotting, which can cause heart attack and/or stroke.
Cigarette smoking can cause asthma which results in an allergic inflammation of the bronchial tubes which leads to mucus production, causing cough and phlegm. The chronic and regular inhalation of cigarette smoke excite the mucous glands in the bronchial tubes which produce excess mucus, leading to a daily cough with phlegm.
People who have asthma and continue to smoke cigarettes are in a “double jeopardy.” Not only do they have difficulty in breathing but develop shortness of breath due to lung diseases, emphysema and acute bronchitis.
Smokers are more likely to develop type-2 diabetes. The overall risk of them developing this illness is 30 to 40 percent higher than non-smokers. Smoking also increases the risk of problems that may accompany diabetes such as heart and kidney disease, reduced blood flow to legs and feet leading to infections and possible amputation. It can also cause retinopathy that may result in blindness and severe nerve damage due to peripheral neuropathy.
It is obvious that smoking can seriously damage the human body. The diseases mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg, one can develop many other illnesses due to smoking. It is always better to opt for a healthy lifestyle, by quitting the habit of smoking and being sober forever.
If you are addicted to smoking and want to quit, take help of the substance abuse treatment centers in Colorado. These centers offer many substance abuse treatment programs in Colorado that can be tailored to your needs.
To know more, chat online with representatives of the Colorado Substance Abuse Advisors or dial our 24/7 substance abuse helpline at (866) 300-5857 anytime you wish. We can help you on your journey towards a smoke-free and healthy life.
Read the other articles of the series, “Smoking is injurious to health”: