Cigarette smoking has catastrophic consequences as it changes just about every organ in your body, which leads to general deterioration of the smoker’s life and health. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that cigarette smoking is responsible for every 1 in 5 deaths across the U.S. It is deadlier on an annual basis than HIV/AIDS. Not only this, it also puts people at risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Considering this array of diseases, it is necessary to seek proper medical help and sign up for an addiction treatment program as soon as you can.

In case you’re not convinced that smoking is actually harmful to you, here are some side effects of lighting up that you might not be aware of:

1. Risk of ALS

A widely-held hypothesis that smoking causes ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) has been confirmed by a study in 2009. ALS is a devitalizing neurological illness, a progressive nervous system disease that affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing you to lose muscle control. Research has found that people who are regular smokers put themselves at greater risk of developing ALS than non-smokers. In particular, people who have been smoking for around 33 years have a two-fold risk of developing ALS at a later age.

2. COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

COPD, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an umbrella term used to describe complications in air flowing through your lungs. These diseases cause inflammation and affect the flexibility of alveoli; they also entirely destroy the walls between them. Symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Severe symptoms include a very high heart rate, weight loss, and discoloration of lips. There is no cure for COPD, only treatments that manage the progression of the disease.

3. Pregnancy and Birth Issues

Smoking has been known to reduce fertility in women as well as men. It vastly affects the body’s ability to produce hormones, which makes it difficult to get pregnant, as well as damaging the eggs and sperm. For women who are able to conceive, smoking increases the probability of preterm labor, stillbirth, sudden death syndrome and low birth weight. One study found that smoking may put the baby at risk of contracting asthma. Moreover, women taking birth control pills while smoking are at a greater risk of developing blood clots. In men, smoking may cause issues with sperm quantity and motility.  

4. Reduces Bone Density

It’s been 20 years since scientists first discovered that smoking puts one at risk of osteoporosis. In 2012, a study found that smoking also weakens the bones in general. Researchers discovered that smokers produce two types of proteins in massive amounts, which causes the production of osteoclasts and leading to the breakdown of old bone. In addition, the nicotine present in cigarettes destroys osteoblasts, the bone-making cells.

5. Cognitive Decline

Smoking accelerates cognitive decline regardless of age; however, one study showed that older men who smoke experience a higher rate of cognitive decline. Researchers found that the decline was most evident in executive functions such as memory, problem solving, attention span, multi tasking, verbal reasoning, etc.

The effects of smoking go far beyond the cancer scare we’re all familiar with. Kicking the habit can save you from other life-long chronic illnesses and health complications. Although the effects are dire, you can take control of your health. Quit today and work on reversing the damage.

By: Lantana Recovery
Title: 5 Side Effects of Smoking That Might Come as a Shock to You
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Published Date: Tue, 25 May 2021 05:58:56 +0000

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