By now, the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes are well-known and backed by scientific studies. Cigarettes are some of the most dangerous products on the market today and have been linked to dozens of cancers, diseases, and other maladies of the human body. The bottom line? Smoking is dangerous. Here’s why.
1. Heart Health
The heart is crucial to healthy bodily functions. The heart keeps oxygen-rich blood flowing throughout the body and to vital organs, and helps recycle oxygen-depleted blood for reoxygenation. Every time you take a breath, your lungs carry oxygen to the bloodstream through tiny air sacs called alveoli. Without a rich supply of oxygen, bodily function begins to deteriorate, and your heart is no exception.
So, how does smoking affect the heart, exactly? According to the CDC website, here are some of the harmful effects of smoking on the heart:
- Damage to cells that line blood vessels
- Lower “good” cholesterol
- Increased plaque build-up
- Increase blood clotting, which can cause blockage
- Raise your triglycerides in the blood
While this is merely a small sample of the effects of smoking on heart health, it’s enough to turn heads. With heart disease being one of the top killers of adults in the US and throughout the world, it’s important to not take active steps towards damaging your heart.
2. Lung Damage
Smoking is behind most lung cancers, and is the number one cause of lung disease/dysfunction in the US. When you inhale cigarette smoke, your lungs become irritated and inflamed, which makes the transfer of oxygen to the bloodstream that much more difficult. Not to mention, cigarette smoke causes a harmful build-up of tar and other substances, which line the lungs and cause increased mucus production.
With so much extra fluid and foreign chemicals lining the lungs, breathing soon becomes difficult. You’ll find that you get winded easier, you have less stamina, and at times, you can’t seem to catch your breath at all.
The FDA reports that there are over 7,000 chemicals inside a single cigarette. More than 70 of these chemicals have been linked to cancer. Getting the picture yet? The minute you pick up a cigarette and inhale its smoke, you’re putting your entire body at risk. Your lungs and heart are the core of bodily functions. Damaging them intentionally can cause a lifetime of pain, discomfort, and even death.
That’s right, smoking can affect your love life as well. You may find that you suddenly dislike having sex, don’t want it, or simply can’t physically conjure the energy for it if you’re a chronic smoker. Smoking cigarettes makes the passage of oxygen to the bloodstream very difficult, and guess what? Strong, healthy blood flow is what makes physical intimacy possible.
Without the right blood flow to certain parts, you’re going to have a rough time engaging in sexual activity. Where’s the fun in that?
There’s also evidence to suggest that smoking has an effect on reproductive organs, meaning you could permanently reduce the likelihood that you’ll have children. This is true for both women and men.
Choosing a tobaccoless alternative is a great first step for many smokers, and with so many products available, quitting has never been easier. Tobacco free dip, vape pens, and more are readily available and affordable! Take back your love life; drop the cigarettes for good.
4. Alienating Friends and Family
Let’s be honest here; smoking is a bad habit. It smells, the smell sticks to everything, and even second-hand smoke can be incredibly dangerous to those around us. You might find that your friends and family hang around you less since you started smoking, or they keep their distance. It’s a safe bet that your habit is alienating the people around you.
Cigarette smoke smells bad. It also has a habit of sticking to clothing, hair, skin, and hard surfaces like your car’s interior. Most non-smokers dislike the smell, but some people become physically ill or nauseous when over-exposed to cigarette smoke.
Plus, that second-hand smoke we mentioned earlier might actually be causing anyone who comes in contact with it to develop cancer. Certainly your habit isn’t worth putting other people’s lives at risk.
5. Job Opportunities and Healthcare Costs
Did you know that healthcare costs are usually higher for smokers? Some plans won’t even accept a smoker due to the increased cost associated with the health problems that smoking causes, not to mention the overall risk.
Some employers won’t hire a smoker, either. This is usually tied to a company’s healthcare program, but some employers simply don’t want the habit, the smell, and the overall danger of smoking as a part of their business.
It’s Time To Quit
Smoking is a decadent habit of the past, before abundant scientific research was available to prove its dangers. With so many alternative products available today, there’s never been a better time to quit.
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