Health Effects Of Smoking
Smoking has severe health effects for both smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke. Several diseases are directly linked to smoking. Diseases on the list are: Cancer (oral, laryngeal, throat, esophageal, lung, cervical, pancreatic, kidney, bladder, and stomach); Pneumonia; Chronic Lung Diseases (COPD, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema); Cataracts; Myeloid Leukemia; Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm; and Coronary Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases. Beyond the darkest of diseases, there are other dangers lurking as well.
Smoking has several adverse effects on reproductive systems. It has been shown that smoking can cause damage to a woman’s ovaries. Smoking is, also, a known contributing factor to impotence in males. The evidence is not conclusive, but smoking has been linked to causing greater numbers of miscarriages in pregnancy, reduced weight of infants at birth, and sudden infant death syndrome.
The mortality numbers involved with smoking are simply incredible. Somewhere around 443,000 deaths are directly attributable to smoking. That means nearly one out of every 5 deaths per year in the United States is due to smoking. Out of the 443,000 deaths, 120,000 deaths are due to COPD lung diseases. Without a doubt, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smoking deaths outnumber the combined death tolls from: murders, suicides, automobile accidents, alcohol/illegal drug use, and HIV. One final startling statistic is the fact that smoking is the leading cause of ten (10) percent of all deaths caused by fires.
Smoking can be seen to be a major factor is deaths resulting from cancer, COPD, heart attacks, and strokes. Smoking is so harmful to a person’s health because there are approximately 19 recognized chemical carcinogens in cigarette smoke. In total, there are over 4,000 chemical compounds in cigarette smoke and at least 60 are suspected to cause cancer. The longer a person smokes and the more cigarettes per day that are smoked vastly increases the chances of death in both male and females.
Secondhand smoke can be devastating to non-smokers as well. It is estimated that somewhere around 46,000 heart disease deaths of non-smokers who live with smokers occur each year. Approximately 3,400 annual lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults are being reported. New studies indicate that there may even be a link to breast cancer from secondhand smoke. Children seem to suffer the most from exposure to secondhand smoke. For children younger than 18 months, 50,000 to 300,000 lung infections develop annually. Middle ear infections are estimated at 750,000 per year.
The plain truth is the undeniable fact that smoking has extremely negative health effects for both smokers and non-smokers alike. The issue is not really “if” an adverse impact will occur, but rather, “when” the adverse impact will occur. It is best not to smoke any type of normal cigarette at all. To protect one’s health, it is wise to try to limit any type of exposure to secondhand smoke as well. If you smoke, it is time to quit or find a viable alternative to replace smoking.