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All about quit smoking & stop smoking health effects of smoking constituents of tobacco smoke smoking and lung cancer smoking and cardiovascular disease smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease other cancers caused by smoking women's health and smoking harm to human body by smoking passive smoking (second hand smoking) health hazards of passive smoking avoiding passive smoking smoking addiction reasons to quit smoking stop smoking cigar smoking and health smoking cessation medications body weight and smoking cessation health benefits of quitting smoking

What're the health effects of smoking?

The main health risks in tobacco smoking pertain to diseases of the respiratory tract (particularly lung cancer) and also to diseases of the cardiovascular system, in particular smoking being a major risk factor for a myocardial infarction (heart

attack). Cancers of the larynx and tongue are also important causes of mortality and morbidity.

A person's increased risk of contracting disease is directly proportional to the length of time that a person continues to smoke as well as the amount smoked. However, if someone stops smoking, then these chances steadily although gradually decrease as the damage to their body is repaired.

Most smokers are aware of specific risks associated with smoking—lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis—but smoking impacts nearly all aspects of your health.

Heart. The effects of cigarette smoking on the cardiovascular system are multifold: Smoking lowers HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol), even in adolescents. Smoking deteriorates the elastic properties of the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body, which increases the risk for developing blood clots. Smoking increases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, putting additional stress on the system that regulates the heart and blood vessels. In women, smoking increases risk for cardiovascular disease because it effects hormones that cause estrogen deficiency. Those who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day have almost two and a half times the risk for having a stroke as nonsmokers.

Cancer. Smoking is the cause of nearly 85 percent of all cases of lung cancer in the United States, but smoking accounts for other types of cancers as well. Because cigarettes contain so many chemicals, cancer may develop from the accumulative effects of more than one of these carcinogens. Tar from cigarettes causes specific DNA damage to the lungs, making it particularly difficult for cells to repair. Smoking and smokeless tobacco (chew) account for over 60 percent of cancers of the throat, mouth and esophagus. Smokers have higher rates of leukemia, and cancers of the stomach, bladder, kidney and pancreas. About 30 percent of cervical cancers have been attributed to smoking.

Bones and joints. Smoking has many negative effects on bones and joints since it impairs formation of new bone. Women who smoke are at an exceptionally high risk for developing osteoporosis, and women smokers have a slightly increased chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Smokers are also more disposed to developing degenerative disorders and injuries in the spine.

Other Disorders. Smoking increases acid secretion, reduces prostaglandin and bicarbonate production and decreases mucosal blood flow—which can cause peptic ulcers. Smoking also delays the healing of gastric and duodenal ulcers. Cyanedim, a chemical found in cigarette smoke, interferes with thyroid hormone production, which can lead to thyroid disease. Heavy smokers are at risk for developing cataracts of the eye, and smokers also have twice the risk of nonsmokers for developing macular degeneration, an age-related eye disorder. Smokers look older than nonsmokers since smokers develop more and deeper wrinkles as they age. Women who smoke are at greater risk for infertility. Those at greatest risk are women show smoke a pack or more per day, or those who started smoking before age 18.

Bad skin. Because smoking restricts blood vessels, it can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin - which is why smokers often appear pale and unhealthy. An Italian study also linked smoking to an increased risk of getting a type of skin rash called psoriasis.

Bad breath. All those cigarettes leave smokers with a condition called halitosis, or persistent bad breath.

Bad-smelling clothes and hair. The smell of stale smoke tends to linger - not just on people's clothing, but on their hair, furniture, and cars. And it's often hard to get the smell of smoke out.

Reduced athletic performance. People who smoke usually can't compete with nonsmoking peers because the physical effects of smoking - like rapid heartbeat, decreased circulation, and shortness of breath - impair sports performance.

Greater risk of injury and slower healing time. Smoking affects the body's ability to produce collagen, so common sports injuries, such as damage to tendons and ligaments, will heal more slowly in smokers than nonsmokers.

More information on quitting smoking

How to quit smoking? - Many smokers know they need to quid smoking to avoid health risk. Smoking cessation is of the most importance for people who is suffering from unpleasant smoking symptoms.
What health effects are associated with smoking? - The main health risks in tobacco smoking pertain to diseases of the respiratory tract and also to diseases of the cardiovascular system, in particular smoking being a major risk factor for a myocardial infarction (heart attack).
What're the constituents of tobacco smoke? - Tobacco smoke is a complex mixture of several thousand chemical compounds. These include particulates (tar) of sticky solids, gases such as carbon monoxide, and volatiles. Most importantly, the smoke contains nicotine ĘC the addictive drug.
Smoking and lung cancer - Lung cancer is directly related to smoking. Over 40 carcinogens have been identified in cigarette smoke. The risk of developing lung cancer is directly related to the number of cigarettes smoked.
Smoking and cardiovascular disease - There are a number of cardiovascular diseases that can be related to smoking. They include heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Smoking aggravates and accelerates of the development of atherosclerotic lesions in the arterial walls.
Smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease in which the lung is damaged, making it hard to breathe. Prolonged tobacco use causes lung inflammation and variable degrees of air sack (alveoli) destruction.
Other cancers caused by or associated with smoking - Cigarette smoking is a major cause of cancers of the oral cavity, oesophagus and larynx. Smoking is a cause of bladder cancer. Cigarette smoking is at least a contributory and may be a causal factor in the development of pancreatic cancer.
Women's health and smoking - Women smokers suffer all the consequences of smoking that men do such as increased of risk various cancers (lung, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, kidney, and bladder) and respiratory diseases.
Harm to human body by smoking - Chemicals in tobacco cause damage to the macula (the most sensitive part of the retina, the back of the eye). Smoking is a risk factor for all cancers associated with the larynx, oral cavity and oesophagus.
What is passive smoking? - "Passive smoking" or "secondhand smoke" - also known as "environmental tobacco smoke" (ETS) or "involuntary smoking" - occurs when the ambient smoke from one person's cigarette is inhaled by other people.
Health hazards of passive smoking - Some of the immediate effects of passive smoking include eye irritation, headache, cough, sore throat, dizziness and nausea. Adults with asthma can experience a significant decline in lung function when exposed, while new cases of asthma may be induced in children whose parents smoke.
How to avoid passive smoking? - Let your visitors know your home is a smoke-free zone, request them to smoke outside. Ask your visitors to put off the cigarette before entering your room. Ask to be seated in non-smoking areas as far from smokers as possible when dining out.
What is a smoking addiction? - A smoking addiction means a person has formed an uncontrollable dependence on cigarettes to the point where stopping smoking would cause severe emotional, mental, or physical reactions.
Why quit smoking? - Smoking increases the risk of respiratory diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smokers have twice the risk of dying of heart attacks, as do non-smokers.
How to stop smoking? - Quitting smoking is a lot like losing weight; it takes a strong commitment over a long period of time. Withdrawal from nicotine has two parts - the physical and the psychological.
Cigar smoking and health - A cigar is defined, for tax purposes, as "any roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or in any substance containing tobacco," while a cigarette is "any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or any substance not containing tobacco.
What smoking cessation medications are available? - Nicotine for NRT is available by prescription as an inhaler or nasal spray (Nicotrol Inhaler and Nicotrol NS).
Changes in body weight and smoking cessation - Smokers weigh, on average, around 3 kg less than non-smokers, although heavy smokers are more likely to be moderately or severely overweight. For many people, the fear of gaining weight prevents them from quitting smoking.
Health benefits of quitting smoking - Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits for men and women of all ages. The health benefits of smoking cessation far exceed any risks from the average 2.3 kg (5 pound) weight gain or any adverse psychological effects that may follow quitting.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005