Cigarette smoking is most likely to become a habit during the
teen years or in the late twenties, even thirties when stress
levels alleviates. Anyone, who starts smoking, whether as a social
smoker or light smoker, eventually become addicted. They are also
more likely to suffer from the health problems caused by cigarette
All cigarette smokers have a lower level of lung
function than nonsmokers. Cigarette smoking causes several lung
diseases that can be just as dangerous as lung cancer. Chronic
bronchitis - a disease where the airways produce excess mucus,
which forces the smoker to cough more often - is a common ailment
The short-term effects of smoking include:
· Smoking decreases lung function
· Smokers often suffer from shortness of breath, nagging
coughing, or tiring easily during strenuous physical activity
· Smoking also diminishes the ability to smell and taste
· causes premature aging of skin
· increases the risk of heart disease
· Smoking is the biggest risk factor for sudden heart attack
although, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical
inactivity, obesity, and diabetes are all risk factors for heart
· Smokers who have a heart attack are more likely to die
within an hour of the heart attack than nonsmokers.
· Morning cough
Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that irritate the air passages
and lungs. When a smoker inhales these substances, the body tries
to protect itself by producing mucus and coughing. The "early
morning" cough of smokers happens for several reasons. Normally,
tiny hairlike formations (called cilia) beat outward and sweep
harmful material out of the lungs.
Cigarette smoke slows the sweeping action, so some
of the poisons in the smoke remain in the lungs and mucus remains
in the airways. When a smoker sleeps, some cilia recover and begin
working again. After waking up, the smoker coughs because the
lungs are trying to clear away the poisons that built up the previous
day. The cilia stop working after long-term exposure to smoke.
Then the smoker's lungs are even more exposed and susceptible
than before, especially to bacteria and viruses in the air. Wherever
smoke touches living cells, it does harm.
Even if smokers don't inhale they are breathing
the smoke as secondhand smoke and are still at risk for lung cancer.
Pipe and cigar smokers are also at an increased risk for lip,
mouth, and tongue cancers.
The causes of smoking related
· major cause of cancers of the lung, larynx
(voice box), oral cavity, pharynx (throat), and esophagus, and
is a contributing cause in the development of cancers of the bladder,
pancreas, liver, uterine cervix, kidney, stomach, colon and rectum,
and some leukemias.
· a major cause of heart disease, bronchitis, emphysema,
and stroke, and contributes to the severity of pneumonia.
· Damaging effect on women's reproductive health associated
with increased risk of miscarriage, early delivery (prematurity),
stillbirth, infant death, and is a cause of low birth weight in
· Health problems from ‘Ssecondhand smoke’
· chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart attacks, strokes,
Smoking causes many types of cancer, which may not
develop for years. Smoking causes almost 90% of lung cancers.
It also causes cancers of the larynx (voice box), oral cavity,
pharynx (throat), and esophagus, and contributes to the development
of cancers of the bladder, pancreas, liver, uterine cervix, kidney,
stomach, colon and rectum, and some leukemias.
Cigarette smoking is also the major cause of emphysema
- a disease that slowly destroys a person's ability to breathe.
For oxygen to reach the blood, it must move across large surfaces
in the lungs. Normally, thousands of tiny sacs make up the surface
area in the lungs. When emphysema occurs, the walls between the
sacs break down and create larger but fewer sacs. This decreases
the amount of oxygen reaching the blood. Eventually, the lung
surface area can become so small that a person with emphysema
has to often gasp for breath, with an oxygen bottle nearby or
with oxygen tubes inserted into the nose.
More than 7 million current and former smokers suffer
from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the name used
to describe both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Often both
of these conditions are present in one person. Pregnant women
who smoke risk the health and lives of their unborn babies.
Smoking and pregnant women
Smoking during pregnancy is linked with a greater chance of spontaneous
abortions, stillbirths, infant deaths, and sudden infant death
syndrome (SIDS). Up to 10% of infant deaths could be prevented
if pregnant women did not smoke.
When a pregnant woman smokes, she’s smoking
for two. The nicotine, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals
enter her bloodstream, pass directly into the baby’s body,
and prevent the baby from getting essential nutrients and oxygen
Second hand smoke
Passive smoking or secondhand smoke, occurs when nonsmokers inhale
other people’s tobacco smoke. This includes mainstream smoke
(smoke that is exhaled into the air by smokers), and side stream
smoke (smoke that comes directly from the burning tobacco in cigarettes).
ETS contains the same harmful chemicals as the smoke that smokers
inhale. In fact, because sidestream smoke is formed at lower temperatures,
it gives off even larger amounts of some cancer-causing substances.
It can also affect nonsmokers by causing eye irritation,
headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Children whose parents smoke
are more likely to suffer from pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections,
coughing, wheezing, increased mucus production, and asthma. Several
studies have also shown a link between parents who smoke and sudden
infant death syndrome (SIDS). Children of parents who smoke have
a greater chance of dying of SIDS.