Smoking and Health Risks

The Surgeon General’s warning hasn’t persuaded many to stop smoking. One reason is that the main substance in cigarettes, nicotine, is highly addictive. It doesn’t take long to get hooked and it happens without you realizing it.

Cigarettes are filled with not only tobacco but other substances that give them their taste and smell, depending on the brand. One puff of that smoke into the air releases thousands of substances both poisonous and carcinogenic (cancer causing). That can’t be good for anyone’s body. Keep reading and you’ll find out what they do more specifically.

* Bad breath – This seems not so important when you are a young kid, but as you grow older it will mean a lot more. Cigarette smokers have sour-smelling breath from the tobacco. Smoking also can dull the taste buds and ruin your sense of taste.

* Gum disease – Smoking contributes to gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. The gum line can recede causing teeth to become unstable and wiggle. They can also become tender and bleed easily. Like sugary sweets, smoking contributes to the formation of plaque on teeth due to the build-up of bacteria in the mouth. Hard, calcified plaque is referred to as tartar.

* Heart disease – People think that the main killer of smokers is lung disease or lung cancer, but it is actually heart disease. Cigarette smoking weakens the vessels of the body, namely your heart. Perfusion (blood reaching all parts of the body) is inhibited, making it easier to suffer a heart attack due to the reduction in blood flow. More smokers die from heart-related disease than lung cancer.

* Cancer – There is more than just lung cancer in this category. Since lungs are directly affected by the poisonous compounds in cigarettes, it is a primary site of cancers. But, smokers may also develop cancer of their tongue, throat, mouth and lips. Removing these cancers can result in deforming surgeries.

* Respiratory illnesses – The most common here is COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and emphysema, a type of COPD. When the lungs are damaged, the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is affected. You will see people with respiratory issues on oxygen tanks just to keep their oxygen at healthy levels in their body.

There are many reasons why smoking is not good for your body. It may begin with bad breath and discolored lips, teeth and fingers, but the health risks can become even more severe and life threatening.