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Smoking Health Effects

Smoking health effects are serious, complicated, long lasting and more often than not, fatal. In the US if you add up all the deaths from HIV/AIDs, illegal drugs, alcohol abuse, car crashes, suicides and murder you would still not equal the deaths caused by smoking health effects. According to the Center for Disease Control in the US, the risks of smoking are pervasive and cause health risks in nearly every system in the body.

Smokers die. They die at alarming rates. 90% of the lung cancer fatalities for men, 80% of the same in women are the direct result of this.
For both men and women, 90% of chronic obstructive lung disease is a direct result of smoking.

Smokers get chronic preventable illnesses at a significantly higher rate than non smokers. The smoking effects on health include a 2-4 time greater chance of stroke. Heart disease, heart attack and hardening of the arteries are 2-4 times more likely. Coronary heart disease, according to the Center for Disease Control is the leading cause of death in the US. By reducing circulation and narrowing blood vessels, along with thickening blood, smokers are at greater risk for heart disease, peripheral vascular disease (PAD) which blocks the large arteries in arms and legs causing pain, tissue loss and in some cases gangrene.

Death by lung obstructive diseases such as emphysema increases by 12-13 times in smokers than non-smokers. The risk of developing lung cancer increases by 23 times in men and 13 times in women. Emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic airway obstruction and lung cancer are all part of the cigarettes.

Smoking causes cancer. Not just lung cancer but also acute myeloid leukemia, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, cancer of the larynx and/or pharynx, cervical cancer, stomach or esophageal cancer, mouth and oral cavity cancer, and cancer of the uterus.

It causes causes problems with the Reproductive System. Infertility, stillbirths, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), preterm delivery and miscarriages as well as low birth weight are all more likely for smokers. Sperm level and mobility are effect by smoking. Erectile dysfunction is more common in men that smoke. In women it may increase the likelihood of infertility.

Smoking has additional health risks for women. Lower bone density is more likely in postmenopausal women who smoke. Increased hip fractures are more likely for women who smoke. It can alter menstrual flow patterns including increasing pain, irregularity and speeding the onset of menopause. It also increases eye problems including the risk for cataracts and age based macular degeneration.

Smoking will affect your children. From birth with low birth rate if mothers smoke, to increased levels of sudden infant death syndrome, reduced lung function and an increased chance of intrauterine retardation. Second hand smoke in children of parents who smoke can increase many respiratory related diseases.

Lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and other chronic obstructive lung conditions increase significantly in children exposed to second hand smoke. The number and severity of asthma attacks are higher in children with asthma that are exposed to second hand smoke. Middle ear infections are also higher in children exposed to smoking.

The the long term health effects of this addiction are serious, complex and long lasting. In many cases smoking is a direct link to death and disease. This can be a problem for the people around you as much as for you. Talk to your medical professional about creating an integrated quitting program to reduce the negative problems of withdrawal.

If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke find resources in your area to help you quit. Every state offers telephone resources and support for smokers wanting to quit. Smoking affects the quality of your life and the lives of the people you love.