Health Effects of Smoking
Health studies have shown that smoking
can affect your heart as well as your lungs. Smoking also raises your risk of certain
cancers. These are all good reasons to quit.
How smoking affects your body
Smoking has been linked with many
serious illnesses. It also has been shown to increase signs of aging. A few of the
health effects of smoking are listed below. Smoking can:
Raise your risk of lung
cancer, bladder cancer, and cervical cancer
Harm your lungs and cause
problems with breathing. This includes emphysema and COPD (chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease) .
Raise blood pressure. This
raises your risk for heart attack or stroke.
Reduce blood flow. This can
slow healing and cause wrinkles.
In pregnant women, cause
bleeding problems, miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth defects
In men, cause problems with
What happens when you smoke?
When you smoke, your breathing
becomes shallow. Your lungs fill with smoke. Smoking cigarettes also fills your body
with chemicals, such as nicotine and tar. Here’s how these things affect your body:
Smoke. Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide.
This gas takes the place of oxygen in your blood.
Nicotine. This drug raises your blood pressure and
heart rate. It reduces blood flow to your arms and legs. And it slows digestion.
Tar. Tar is what’s left after tobacco is smoked.
This sticky brown material gums up your lungs. This causes less oxygen to get into
Other chemicals. Cigarette smoke contains more than
4,000 other chemicals. They include formaldehyde, arsenic, and lead. Dozens of these
chemicals are known to cause cancer.
Get help and more information
© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.