TOBACCO USE, A POTENT HEALTH THREAT!

One cigarette smoked, a million body cells are about to die! Although many people continuously smoke cigarette or use tobacco in other forms, the health risks are rather amplified than the health benefits. From the different studies done around the world, people smoke or use tobacco for different purposes including; pleasure, stress relief and social demands.

It’s true you have heard so many campaigns about tobacco use and necessarily encouraging quitting smoking. But did you ever know exactly how tobacco affects your body? Get a deeper gist.  Tobacco contains many different chemicals but for the interest of the discussion, these include; nicotine, Tar and Carbon monoxide. First, Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical found in all forms of tobacco and in most types of e-cigarettes. When you use tobacco, in any form, the nicotine enters your body and is absorbed into your bloodstream. The nicotine then goes to all the organs in your body. Nicotine causes the brain to release chemicals such as dopamine that produce feelings of pleasure and reduce anxiety and stress. The more you use tobacco, the more nicotine your brain gets. And, the more nicotine your brain gets, the more nicotine your brain wants. The faster nicotine gets into your body, the more addictive it is for the brain. Cigarettes, including e-cigarettes, have been designed to give the brain high levels of nicotine very quickly. Secondly, carbon monoxide which when inhaled, replaces oxygen in the blood and starves the organs of oxygen thereby stopping them from functioning properly. Thirdly, Tar is a sticky, brown substance that coats the lungs and affects breathing.

Although buying a cigarette from your nearby shop can be affordable, the cost of treating any damaged body organ due to smoking, is just unmatched! Always remember tobacco smoke is incredibly harmful to your health. There is no safe way to smoke. Replacing your cigarette with a cigar, pipe, e-cigarette or hookah won’t help you avoid the health risks. Besides the commonly known lung cancer there are many more health complications attached to tobacco smoking including;

  1. Immunity compromisation

Smoking reduces immune function and causes inflammation in the body. This can result into your body becoming more susceptible to infections as well as autoimmune conditions like; systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

  1. Lung disorders

The lungs are possibly the most obvious organ that smoking affects. However, it often takes long time before a person notices any symptoms of smoke related lung-disease. This means that a person may not receive a diagnosis until the disease has advanced.  Inside the lungs, smoke damages the airways and air sacs. Lung diseases mostly caused by smoking can include; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Emphysema and Chronic bronchitis.

Brain disorders.

Nicotine is a mood-altering and highly addictive tobacco component. It’s the major reason why people find it hard to quit smoking. Nicotine reaches your brain in seconds and can energize you for a while. But as the effect wears off, you may feel tired and crave more. Physical withdrawal from nicotine can impair your ability to think and make you feel negative emotions like; irritability, anxiety and depression.

  1. Sexual and reproductive disorders.

Nicotine affects blood flow to the genital areas of both sex contributing to reproductive challenges like reduced sexual desire.  In females, it commonly results into sexual dissatisfaction by decreasing lubrication and the ability to reach orgasm. Menopause may occur earlier in smokers than non-smokers. Whereas in pregnancy, it can also lead to early delivery, low birth weight and stillbirths. In males, smoking can gradually decrease sexual performance by affecting the function of blood vessels, which restrict blood flow needed to achieve an erection leading to erectile dysfunction. It can also damage sperm and affect sperm count.

  1. Cardiovascular disorders

Smoking causes hardening of blood vessels (atherosclerosis) which is when plaque builds up in the blood and sticks to the artery walls. This makes them narrower, reducing blood flow and increasing the risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, high blood pressure and many more.

With these few smoking implications, it should be kept in mind that smoking affects every body system in different ways. While smoking can increase your risk of certain health conditions over years, like glaucoma and cancer, some of the bodily effects happen immediately. But quitting smoking can reverse many of these in your body so, drop it.



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