About 1.3 billion of the world's population are tobacco users, and half of them die from it. The effects tobacco has on your health are severe. It is one of the leading causes of death in the world. About 8 million people die of tobacco products every year around the world. 400,000 Americans die yearly due to the effects of tobacco smoking. Also, about 1.2 million non-smokers die annually as a result of exposure to second-hand smoking.
Most people start smoking in their teens. Those whose parents or friends smoke or live in a community where smoking is common are likely to start smoking earlier than others. When people start, they find it very difficult to stop. A study in 2012 suggested that out of every three smokers, only one will quit and one will die of smoking. Tobacco smoking is addictive, a constant compulsive craving for the substance despite its harmful effects and consequences. Tobacco is just as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Nicotine is the addictive component of tobacco. It makes you feel energized once it crosses the blood-brain barrier.
None of the tobacco products are safe. Many think that tobacco affects only the lungs. In reality, it affects all the systems of the body and it is a major risk factor for many diseases including cancer and some chronic ailment.
How Tobacco Affects The Central Nervous System
Nicotine, which is a major component of tobacco, is a mood-altering product. It makes you feel energized for a while and as its effects leave you, you don't remain normal, rather, you feel tired, depressed, and crave more. The use of nicotine activates the reward center of the brain. This makes it hard to stop using tobacco products. Sudden withdrawal from it impairs cognitive functioning and tends to leave you depressed, anxious, and irritated.
The Effect Of Tobacco On The Cardiovascular System
Smoking tobacco puts the entire cardiovascular system at risk. Tobacco products affect the flow of blood within the blood vessels because it tightens them. Smoking tobacco also raises blood pressure and is also a leading risk factor for stroke. Heart diseases like heart attacks get worse. This does not only affect smokers but also the people around them.
The Effect Of Tobacco On The Respiratory System
Inhaling smoke alone damages the lungs. Over time, continual damage of the inner linings of the lungs can lead to infections like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of lung diseases, and also lung cancer. Smoke also increases the frequency of asthma attacks. Someone suffering from asthma must stay distant from smokers.
Effects Of Tobacco On The Digestive System
Smoking has caused more mouth diseases than any other addiction. Your mouth, larynx, throat, and esophagus are at great risk when you smoke. It can lead to cancer in any of the mentioned areas. The same thing applies to those who don't smoke but are always around smokers. Also, type 2 diabetes and its complications develop faster in people who smoke than in those who don't.
How Smoking Affects The Reproductive System
Smoking affects the reproductive systems of both males and females. Tobacco products can obstruct the production of sexual hormones in both sexes which can lead to reduced sexual desire. In men, smoking tobacco can lead to decreased sexual performance and increase the time it takes to ejaculate. Also in women, tobacco products can decrease lubrication and the ability to reach orgasm resulting in sexual dissatisfaction.
Effect Of Tobacco On The Skin
A recent study has shown that smoking rapidly increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (a kind of skin cancer). Smoking changes the feel of our skin and skin color. Smokers are at the risk of fungal infection in their hands and nails. Studies have also shown that smoking causes premature baldness, grey hairs, and loss of hair.
Addiction is not an eternal curse. Following certain procedures can help cure this addiction. With the help of relatives, personal physicians, and loved ones, the transition process gets easy. Smoking puts you and your relatives at risk of many diseases that one can avoid by quitting smoking. Smokers around also need encouragement from the public to quit and it might go a long way in making our environments safer.