Apart from lung cancer, there is a long list of smoking related illnesses. Learn more about these illnesses associated with smoking by going through the following article.
No one likes to fall sick or contract any kind of disease. There are many so-called cool people, who think smoking makes them look more hep or helps them ease away their tension. But, these people do not realize that smoking causes them to die young. According to a study by US Surgeon General, smokers tend to die 13 to 14 years earlier than people who do not smoke.
Most of the smokers are well aware of the diseases caused by smoking, yet, choose to ignore the ill effects. Maybe they think that they are invincible and nothing can ever harm them. But, these people are wrong. It’s not just lung cancer, but there is a long list of smoking related illnesses that affects smokers. We shall have a look at some of these smoking related diseases in this WellnessKeen article.
Illnesses Caused by Smoking
The main ingredient of cigarettes is tobacco. And tobacco is the single cause of most of the preventable deaths occurring worldwide. There is not a single organ in the body, that is not affected by cigarette smoke. Whether you like to take a ‘light’ smoke or smoke just twice a day, even a single cigarette is harmful to the body. Illnesses associated with smoking include the cancer of the bladder, larynx, esophagus, mouth, throat, lungs, etc. These diseases lead to the death of around 440,000 Americans every year. The following list contains information related to illnesses caused by the ill effects of smoking.
Cancers Caused by Smoking
About 90% of the smokers fall prey to lung cancer. But, the other 10% seem to develop other types of cancers associated with smoking. These include prostate cancer, larynx cancer, cancer of the pancreas, prostate cancer, leukemia and many more. Some of these cancers related to smoking are discussed below:
Smoking leads to bladder cancer in about 40% of the smokers. Studies have found high amounts of 2-naphthylamine in cigarettes. This compound is known as a bladder carcinogen that leads to bladder cancer.
Women smokers are more at risk to develop breast cancer. It has been found that about 30% of the women who smoke, develop breast cancer. The California Department of Health Services conducted a study and found that smoking poses great risk for cancer in women smokers. Results showed that women who began smoking by the age of 20 years and those who began smoking at least 5 years before their first pregnancy were at a greater risk of developing breast cancer.
Women who smoke are at a greater risk of developing cervical cancer as smoking makes them prone to infections by sexually transmitted viruses. About 30% of the deaths due to cervical cancer are said to be due to smoking.
Esophageal cancer occurs in the esophageal lining. Studies have found that cigarette smoke damages the DNA of the cells of the esophagus and this could lead to esophageal cancer. About 80% of all esophageal cancers have been linked to smoking.
The chemicals present in cigarette smoke may lead to gastrointestinal cancer. Although you breath in the smoke into your lungs, some of the smoke is always swallowed. This smoke that is swallowed increases the risk of developing gastrointestinal cancers in smokers than non-smokers.
When one smokes a cigarette, the smoke that enters the body contains nicotine from tobacco. This is nicotine along with other dangerous chemicals, carbon monoxide and tar leads to many changes in the heart rate, circulation, respiration and blood pressure. These changes affect the kidney functioning and may trigger cancer. Also, the carcinogens that are filtered out of the body by the kidney, alter the cellular DNA by damaging the kidney cells. This leads to kidney cancer in smokers.
Tobacco is the main causative agent of mouth cancer. People who chew tobacco are more at risk of developing this awful cancer of the mouth. Not only people who chew tobacco, but also smokers too are at risk. It has been found that smokers are 6 times more likely to suffer from mouth cancer than people who never smoke. People who smoke smokeless tobacco are 50 times more likely to develop cancer of the mouth.
You must have recently read or heard the news that actor Michael Douglas was diagnosed with throat cancer. His cancer has been linked to smoking. Throat cancer is very likely as the smoke passes through the throat into your lungs. Although Michael Douglas has been given 80% chance of surviving his cancer, not many others are found to be so lucky.
Cardiovascular Diseases Due to Smoking
It’s not just the lungs, but the heart too that has to bear the brunt of cigarette smoke. Some of these cardiovascular diseases affecting smokers are as follows:
Smoking is considered to be one of the 6 independent factors that leads to heart attacks. Nicotine in the smoke causes the heart to work faster as it increases the blood pressure. Carbon monoxide begins to take up more and more oxygen in the blood and this causes the heart to pump more blood. The overworked heart, coupled with other heart problems like high blood pressure, leads to a heart attack.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States. Majority of the coronary heart diseases are caused due to smoking. These diseases tend to aggravate further, especially when the person is diabetic.
The nicotine in cigarette smoke speeds up the obstruction of arteries. This obstruction leads to hardening of the arteries due to the fatty deposits of the plaques. This leads to scarring and thickening of the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis. This condition makes one prone to develop coronary heart diseases as well as heart attack.
Other Diseases Due to Smoking
The list seems endless. There are plenty more diseases that occur due to smoking. Some of these diseases and illnesses are as follows:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Childhood respiratory ailments
- Chronic bronchitis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Complications of pregnancy
- Crohn’s disease
- Gum disease
- High blood pressure
- Ischaemic heart disease
- Loss of smell and taste
- Osteoporosis (women)
- Peripheral artery disease
- Premature aging
- Stomach ulcers
These were some of the smoking related illnesses. There may be more than I may have failed to mention. Smoking kills, yet people fail to understand the repercussions. You may find pleasure, relaxation and even appear cool or modern for a few moments. But, it is your life at stake. Smoking affects you in some way or the other and leads to your death before you get to live your full life.
Active smoking kills the smoker, but do you realize that smoking also affects people around you? Passive smoking is just as harmful as active smoking. This means that along with suicide, you are trying to commit murder. It’s not just printed for fun or to fill up the space on the box, Cigarette smoking is injurious health. It is after all your life. You decide what’s best for you, your body and your health.