The Short and Long Term Effects of Smoking on Your Body: Smoking is bad for your health. You already have this knowledge. But you may not be aware of all of the short-term and long-term consequences of smoking on your body.
So why is smoking bad for you?
Some of the side effects of smoking include bad breath, coughing, dulled senses of taste and smell, and yellowed teeth and skin. Other issues become apparent over time, such as shortness of breath, a dull complexion and wrinkles.
But a lot of the damage cannot be seen or felt, and it may not be obvious that it is caused by your smoking habit.
Did you know that smoking is harmful to many parts of your body, too? The heart, blood vessels, skin, bones, brain, eyes, immune system, mouth, and throat all are harmed by smoking. Smoking harms nearly every part of your body.
Effects of Smoking on Your Body and Health
Short-Term Effects of Smoking
Tobacco’s short-term effects include nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, coughing, fever, and congestion.
- Breath problems
- A “mindless” or “brain-dead” patient who receives short-term stimulation from volunteers is shown to have improved brain activity and states of consciousness following a recuperation period of one to two months.
- fatigue and dizziness
- Dulling the taste buds and sense of smell.
- A coughing fit
- Breathing difficulties
- Higher blood pressure.
- Heart rate increases
- Blood flow is decreased
Long-Term Effects of Smoking
Numerous studies have shown the severe health effects of tobacco and have uncovered many previously unknown risks to health.
Shortens life expectancy
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cigarette smoking causes over half a million deaths per year in the United States.
Heavy smokers have a shorter life expectancy than light smokers. But it’s not just heavy smokers who are at risk. Smokers who consume only 4 to 5 cigarettes per day have a greater chance of death than nonsmokers do.
If you have asthma, smoking can exacerbate an attack or cause one to occur.
Infection with tuberculosis
If you have had tuberculosis, smoking significantly increases the chance of a relapse.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema
You can contract lung disease from smoking. Over time, you can develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema that makes it painful and difficult to breathe.
Diseases of the heart
Smoking is oftentimes the cause of heart disease. In fact, smokers are four times more likely to be afflicted by heart disease than nonsmokers.
Strokes can occur as well. Smokers have twice the risk of stroke as nonsmokers.
Dementia caused by vascular damage
Vascular dementia is a risk. If Alzheimer’s disease develops, it progresses more rapidly in smokers than in nonsmokers.
Rheumatoid arthritis can develop into an acute condition.
Crohn’s disease. Smokers are more likely to develop Crohn’s disease.
Diabetes is more common in smokers than in nonsmokers, and it is difficult to control. Some diabetics develop an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to vision loss.
Cancer is one of the most feared smoking side effects.
- Lung cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Blood cancer (in the form of leukemia)
- Cervix cancer
- Colon and rectum cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Larynx cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreas cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Throat and tongue v
- Tonsils cancer
- Trachea cancer
- Eye Problems
Smoking can lead to a variety of other eye problems, too. Cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye and glaucoma are some of them.
Immune system that is weaker
A weak immune system makes one more vulnerable to infection and disease.
Problems with erectile function
Cigarette smoke can obstruct blood flow and cause erectile dysfunction and impotence. Other side effects of smoking include:
- Problems with fertility
- Increased risk of miscarriage from blood transfusions
- Menopause at an early age
- Problems with menstruation
- Complete loss of smell or taste.
- Yellowing teeth, tooth decay, and bad breath are symptoms of poor oral hygiene.
- Ulcers in the stomach
- Appearance of grey
- Wrinkles that appear early
- Pain in the back
- increased risk of infection to malaria.
What Does Smoking Do to Your Body? A Closer Look to the Most Common Long-Term Effects of Smoking
Cigarettes contain a number of dangerous chemicals, and some of them are created when other chemicals combine in the smoke. People use portions of your smoke when they breathe in your smoke.
Some of the chemicals that able cause cancer can also cause smoking-related lung cancer. You probably know that smoking can lead to cancer. The virus can also cause other types of cancer, such as blood, throat, stomach, bladder, colon, kidney, breast, and pancreatic.
Smokers who get cancer are 5 times more likely to develop it than nonsmokers.
What Does Smoking Do to Your Lungs?
You breathe the smoke inhaled by other people, irritating your bronchial tubes and causing them to make more mucus. Smoke also damages the tiny hairs, called cilia, that line the airways. The cilia move mucus toward the throat so it can be coughed up or spat out.
If you’re a smoker, there is more mucus, and it is thicker than usual. Cilia are damaged, and moving them is more difficult than usual. That’s not a good combination.
What smoking does to your lungs is that it makes it difficult to clear out mucus. Not only does this make you cough, but it also puts you at a greater risk for respiratory infections.
And getting enough oxygen is much more difficult. Your lungs contain clusters of small air sacs called alveoli. Oxygen moves through the alveolus, and carbon dioxide exits.
As you breathe in and out, the alveoli expand and contract. But in smokers’ lungs, the alveoli become less pliable. Some ruptures. It is harder to move oxygen and carbon dioxide.
This is how smokers’ lungs look like compared to non-smokers’ lungs.
One of the more common health impacts of smoking is that it can injure your small blood vessels in your lungs. These are called capillaries. Each of the alveoli is surrounded by capillaries.
Oxygen and carbon dioxide flow through alveolar walls and capillaries into the blood. When you’re a chronic smoker, the capillaries in the lungs become thicker, resulting in less oxygen and blood being able to pass through them.
Other blood vessels’ walls thicken, too, making them narrow and making it more difficult for your heart to pump blood through them.
How does smoking affect your heart?
If you’re a smoker, your blood vessels are narrowed, so your heart has to pump harder and faster for blood to reach your limbs. This induces a spike in your blood pressure.
Cigarette tar can trigger plaque to form in your blood vessels, causing restricted blood flow and blood flow becoming thicker. Blood clots may also form, increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke. You could be injured or poisoned by a heart attack or stroke.
You can also develop an aortic aneurysm. It is an enlargement of the blood vessel that transports blood to your heart. If an aneurysm bursts, it could prove fatal.
Effects of Smoking on Your Skin
Smoking tobacco harms your skin, too. The reduction in blood flow means that your skin isn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients to stay healthy. It can start to look dirty and dingy.
Cigarettes contain a number of chemicals that damage collagen and elastin, which are necessary for your skin’s strength and elasticity. When your skin is damaged, your face will sag and you will develop deeper wrinkles.
Vertical wrinkles form around your mouth. That’s partly because of the collagen and elastin loss, but largely because you pucker up when you smoke a cigarette.
Blinking to avoid smoke from getting in your eyes leads to the formation of crow’s feet on the outside corners of the eyes.
Smoking harms your bones, increasing your risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis results in lower bone density. If you perform this maneuver, your bones become weaker and break more easily. And they heal more slowly after a break.
How Smoking Cigarettes Affects the Brain?
Smokers’ brains tend to become thinner over time due to nicotine’s harmful effects on the brain. Smoking damages the brain, too. Among the dangers of smoking is that the cerebral cortex thins out as the smoker ages. The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
So the changes associated with aging seem to be more pronounced in smokers.
Diabetics can develop an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy if their blood sugar is high. Small blood vessels in the retina can degenerate or become blocked, leading to impaired eyesight.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are red flags for glaucoma two conditions that are common among heavy smokers and you are much more likely to develop this eye disease if you have them. A high intraocular pressure can lead to blindness.
AMD is a threat, too. It is a disease of the eye that involves blurring in the center of the field of vision. The injury worsens over time, limiting vision significantly. It’s even an issue for secondhand smokers!
Cigarettes cause inflammation throughout the body. It weakens the immune system, making it more difficult to fight off infections and diseases. Smoking poses greater health risks by damaging your immune system.
Mouth and Throat
Tobacco has harmful effects on the throat and mouth, causing various discolorations of the teeth. You might also have noticed that people who have smoked for many years have yellow teeth. Oftentimes, they have gum disease as well.
Your gums may become swollen and sensitive and bleed easily. Your teeth could become loose, too. If you have surgical procedures, such as an oral operation or a tooth extraction, the healing process may take longer and be more difficult.
Smoking or using tobacco products of any type increases your risk of getting oral cancer. Cigarette, cigar or pipe smoking may result in cancer of the mouth or throat, while chewing tobacco could lead to cancer of the lips, gums or cheeks.
Effects of Smoking on Pregnancy
Smoking may make it difficult for you to get pregnant, and your spouse’s smoking may have a negative impact on his sexual health. Heavy smokers may have low sperm counts and low sperm motility, so men and women with smokers may also be infertile.
If you’re pregnant, or considering getting pregnant, it is crucial to realize that smoking can harm your baby. That harm starts even before it’s born.
The chemical you breathe in cigarettes can pass through your placenta and umbilical cord to your newborn. The amount of oxygen your baby consumes, and what it needs often reduced by smoking.
Your child’s lungs and brain development may not take place normally. Cleft palate and other birth defects of the mouth or lips could arise.
Smoking during pregnancy increases the chance that your baby will be born prematurely, and that he or she will be born with a low weight. Premature and low-weight infants may have a variety of medical and developmental disorders both in early life and later in life.
There’s also an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). And it increases if your baby breathes in secondhand smoke, either from you or others.
Smoke inhalation can harm your baby in many ways, too. He or she may develop asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia or ear infections.
How Your Health Improves After You Quit Smoking?
The side effects of smearing can be alarming at first, but good progress has been made in detecting them. If you stop smoking, your physical health will improve. And the improvements will happen quite quickly.
Your health starts to improve as soon as you stop smoking cigarettes, with 20 minutes being a typical recovery time. Your elevated pulse rate and blood pressure will return to normal. Your tissues will begin receiving more oxygen.
You’ll feel an increase in your stamina as you continue to exercise. Your cancer risk will continually decrease over time.
What happens when you quit smoking?
The risk of death from heart disease, cancer, and lung disease decreases after quitting smoking. Most doctors will tell you quitting smoking is the easiest way you can improve your health.