Smoking is so entrenched in today’s world that most people just accept the toll it takes on society as normal, and that’s a shame. It seems to be the case that if you do something to ruin a person’s health slowly, then that’s much more acceptable than if you do something that’s bad for their health all at once.
That’s how it is when you consider, “what are the long term effects of smoking” in today’s society. If you were to offer someone a drink of poisonous chemicals, they would be outraged, and said, “do you think I am an idiot”, those chemicals can kill me or give me cancer”. But that is what smokers do every day; they take in a cocktail of chemicals in very small doses, and to them that’s OK, even though the cumulative effect over time is the same.
What are the long term effects of smoking?
It is widely recognized that smoking can cause lung cancer, but, did you know that it also increases the risk of cancer of the lips, tongue, mouth, nose, esophagus, pharynx, larynx, pancreas, cervix, vulva, penis and anus. There are also associations between smoking and cancers of the stomach, kidney liver and the blood.
(That should be enough to make anyone stops smoking immediately! but there is more…)
Smoking raises blood sugar levels, making it even harder to control the high blood sugar levels caused by diabetes. some health complications caused by type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes, are worsened by smoking.
Because, when you smoke, your blood carries less oxygen and more plaque, you are more likely to suffer from dangerous blood clots and strokes. Back pain and blockage of the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, ears and other organs can also affect you. This can lead to poor circulation in your hands, feet and limbs, which can cause severe pain, especially when exercising, and can also result in gangrene and amputation.
Smoking can damage the lining of your throat and lungs and weaken your immune system, making it easier for bacteria and viruses to take hold in your body. Those who smoke inhale air that is mixed with harmful substances that can damage the lung tissue and have been proven to cause lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking is also a risk factor for coronary artery disease.
In the long term, habitual smokers are more likely to have some degree of emphysema, a disease that causes progressive shortness of breath, as smoking cuts the amount of oxygen able to be carried from the air into your blood. As a smoker you will be more prone to asthma attacks, because smoking narrows your airways which makes it much harder to breathe.
You will look prematurely aged, as wrinkles will appear around your eyes and mouth sooner and deeper than a non-smoker. A woman who smokes tends to reach menopause one or two years earlier than a non-smoker or an ex-smoker, because smoking reduces the amount of estrogen in the body. She is more likely to develop osteoporosis which is weakening of the bones that accompanies aging.
It’s likely that you will lose your hearing earlier than a non-smoker, and will be more susceptible to hearing loss due to ear infections and loud noise. This is due to decreased blood flow to the inner ear resulting from plaque build-up on the blood vessel walls.
So if you were wondering what are the long term effects of smoking, above are some things you may like to consider. It is your choice to continue your smoking habit which can cause very bad effects on your body, or you can decide to quit smoking. It would be very wise if you decide to quit smoking to live much healthier and prevent sickness and disease.
If you decide to quit smoking, think positive. It will take willpower and hard work, but don’t be discouraged, you can do it. Try to take it one day at a time, and if at first you don’t succeed, try again and keep on trying. Don’t give up. Your life could depend on it.