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Yet in many countries, such as Italy, smoking is. R. West. European Journal of Public Health, Volume 23, Issue 2, April , Pages –
Table of contents

This risk is 25 times greater for men and The CDC report that roughly 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths is linked to smoking. Smoking cigarettes also presents a greater risk of developing and dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder COPD. Cigarettes are also linked to developing emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

They can also trigger or exacerbate an asthma attack. The chemicals and tar in cigarettes can increase a person's risk of atherosclerosis , which is the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. This buildup limits blood flow and can lead to dangerous blockages.


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Smoking also increases the risk of peripheral artery disease PAD , which occurs when the arteries to the arms and legs start to narrow, restricting blood flow. Research shows a direct link between smoking and developing PAD. Even those who used to smoke face a higher risk than people who never smoked. Smoking cigarettes can damage a female's reproductive system and make it more difficult to get pregnant. This may be because tobacco and the other chemicals in cigarettes affect hormone levels.

In males, the more cigarettes a person smokes and the longer they smoke for, the higher the risk of erectile dysfunction. Smoking can also affect the quality of the sperm and therefore reduce fertility. According to the CDC , smoking can affect pregnancy and the developing fetus in several ways, including:.

The CDC report that people who smoke regularly have a 30—40 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who do not. Smoking can also make it more difficult for people with diabetes to manage their condition.

Mesothelioma and Smoking

It can also cause additional inflammation in the body. Smoking cigarettes can cause eye problems, including a greater risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. People who smoke have double the risk of gum disease. This risk increases with the number of cigarettes a person smokes. Smoking tobacco can limit a person's ability to taste and smell things properly. It can also stain the teeth yellow or brown. Smoking tobacco can affect a person's skin and hair.

A person who smokes may experience prematurely aged, wrinkled skin. They also have a higher risk of skin cancer , "especially on the lips. Smoking can cause the hair and skin to smell of tobacco. It can also contribute to hair loss and balding.


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In addition to the well-documented link with lung cancer, smoking cigarettes can also contribute to other forms of cancer. The American Cancer Society report that cigarette smoking causes 20—30 percent of pancreatic cancers. People who smoke are also three times as likely to develop bladder cancer than people who do not.

Smoking and Strokes

Smoking cigarettes can also double a person's risk of stomach cancer. Tobacco is especially linked to stomach cancers that occur near the esophagus. The ill effects of smoking cigarettes do not only affect people who smoke. Secondhand smoke can also have significant health effects on family members, friends, and coworkers.

While quitting smoking can be challenging, the CDC report that today, there are more people who used to smoke than people who currently smoke. Once a person stops smoking, the benefits start accumulating. These include clearer skin, improved oral health, more stable hormones, a stronger immune system, and a reduced risk of many types of cancers.

Some other benefits of quitting smoking include :. Nicotine is an addictive drug and can cause withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using it. These symptoms including cravings, increased appetite, and irritability. Cravings and other effects typically subside over time. A doctor or other healthcare professional can help a person take positive steps toward quitting smoking. Read about some simple steps to quit smoking here.

Article last reviewed by Thu 7 March All references are available in the References tab. Basal and squamous cell skin cancer risk factors. Benefits of quitting. Bladder cancer risk factors. Bonnie, R. Public health implications of raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products. Gometz, E. Health effects of smoking and the benefits of quitting.

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Health effects of cigarette smoking. Health effects of smoking. Health risks of smoking tobacco. Lu, L. Meta-analysis of the association between cigarette smoking and peripheral arterial disease [Abstract]. Pancreatic cancer risk factors. Quitting smoking. Smoking and your heart. Smoking, gum disease, and tooth loss. Stomach cancer risk factors. Smoking causes emphysema. What are the risk factors for cervical cancer? MLA Dresden, Danielle. This is confirmed in the daily mood patterns described by smokers, with normal moods during smoking and worsening moods between cigarettes.

Thus, the apparent relaxant effect of smoking only reflects the reversal of the tension and irritability that develop during nicotine depletion. Dependent smokers need nicotine to remain feeling normal. Users report feelings of relaxation , sharpness, calmness , and alertness. Generally, the unpleasant symptoms will eventually vanish over time, with repeated use, as the body builds a tolerance to the chemicals in the cigarettes, such as nicotine.

Smokers report higher levels of everyday stress. The deleterious mood effects of abstinence explain why smokers suffer more daily stress than non-smokers and become less stressed when they quit smoking. Deprivation reversal also explains much of the arousal data, with deprived smokers being less vigilant and less alert than non-deprived smokers or non-smokers. Recent studies have shown a positive relationship between psychological distress and salivary cotinine levels in smoking and non-smoking adults, indicating that both firsthand and secondhand smoke exposure may lead to higher levels of mental stress.

Medical researchers have found that smoking is a predictor of divorce.

Top 10 Terrible Things Smoking Does to Your Body

The usage of tobacco can also create cognitive dysfunction. There seems to be an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease , although "case—control and cohort studies produce conflicting results as to the direction of the association between smoking and AD". Most notably, some studies have found that patients with Alzheimer's disease are more likely not to have smoked than the general population, which has been interpreted to suggest that smoking offers some protection against Alzheimer's.

However, the research in this area is limited and the results are conflicting; some studies show that smoking increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Some older analyses have claimed that non-smokers are up to twice as likely as smokers to develop Alzheimer's disease. Researchers without tobacco lobby influence have concluded the complete opposite: Smokers are almost twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop Alzheimer's disease.

Former and current smokers have a lower incidence of Parkinson's disease compared to people who have never smoked, [] [] although the authors stated that it was more likely that the movement disorders which are part of Parkinson's disease prevented people from being able to smoke than that smoking itself was protective. Another study considered a possible role of nicotine in reducing Parkinson's risk: nicotine stimulates the dopaminergic system of the brain, which is damaged in Parkinson's disease, while other compounds in tobacco smoke inhibit MAO-B , an enzyme which produces oxidative radicals by breaking down dopamine.

In many respects, nicotine acts on the nervous system in a similar way to caffeine. Some writings have stated that smoking can also increase mental concentration ; one study documents a significantly better performance on the normed Advanced Raven Progressive Matrices test after smoking. Most smokers, when denied access to nicotine , exhibit withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, jitteriness, dry mouth , and rapid heart beat.

Unlike some recreational drugs , nicotine does not measurably alter a smoker's motor skills , judgement , or language abilities while under the influence of the drug. Tobacco withdrawal has been shown to cause clinically significant distress. A very large percentage of schizophrenics smoke tobacco as a form of self-medication. In , a meta-analysis found that smokers were at greater risk of developing psychotic illness.

Recent studies have linked smoking to anxiety disorders, suggesting the correlation and possibly mechanism may be related to the broad class of anxiety disorders, and not limited to just depression.

Health effects of tobacco - Wikipedia

Current and ongoing research attempt to explore the addiction-anxiety relationship. Data from multiple studies suggest that anxiety disorders and depression play a role in cigarette smoking. A number of studies have shown that tobacco use is a significant factor in miscarriages among pregnant smokers, and that it contributes to a number of other threats to the health of the fetus.

It slightly increases the risk of neural tube defects.