There are currently around 1.2 billion smokers in the world and this figure is expected to increase to as many as 1.7 billion within the next decade. Regardless of how popular this pastime seems to be, there are no doubts regarding the serious health conditions that it causes in all parts of the body, with many of them being deemed irreversible once diagnosed.
Conditions such as lung cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, various forms of lung infection, basic colds and flu and pneumonia are experienced more often among smokers than non-smokers, with many of them being sick numerous times a year. Once this starts happening, the lungs as well as the bronchial tube or airway eventually start to build up scar tissue and tar residue also accumulates in the lungs. In addition, chemicals from the cigarettes kill off the alveoli or air sacs in the lungs permanently. This causes severe shortness of breath and renders any form of exercise virtually impossible – even something deemed as leisurely as walking.
Compromised immune system
These days, all commercial cigarettes contain a high tar content as well as more than 500 different chemical compounds and ingredients. This means that people who smoke regularly will find that their immune systems soon become unable to fend off even the simplest of infections when they strike. If a person continues to smoke for a prolonged period of time, he or she can also end up being diagnosed with more severe autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or even Parkinson’s disease.
Weakened bone and muscle structure
Another negative effect that smoking has on the body is that it severely hampers its ability to form healthy new bone and muscle tissue. It also has the ability to destroy the smoker’s existing skeletal structure by causing individual bones to thin, leaving him or her more susceptible to cracks and fractures. When these occur, smokers also take a lot longer to heal than their non-smoking counterparts. Smoking also results in less oxygen being supplied to the muscles than is necessary, which results in them becoming tired and achy. In most cases, building new muscle tissue becomes close to impossible in smokers as well, which causes their bodies to look many years older than they are.
The facial area
Smoking is known to reduce the flow of blood to the inner ear substantially. This can in turn cause the cochlea to become damaged, resulting in mild to moderate hearing loss over time. Lighting up as little as once or twice a day can result in the development of blindness, blurry vision and severely decreased night vision abilities over time. In most cases, this harmful habit results in the loss of skin elasticity and the development of premature wrinkles, which means that most smokers can end up looking up to 20 years older than they actually are – after engaging in the habit for as little as three to five years. The development of throat and mouth cancers also becomes a very real possibility.
Because smoking raises blood pressure considerably, it places a significant amount of additional pressure on the heart as the blood tries to pump through the body. In addition, the carbon monoxide produced by cigarettes also prevents this vital organ from receiving the amount of oxygen it needs to function optimally. This not only puts smokers at a higher risk of developing various forms of heart disease; it also means that smokers stand a far higher chance of suffering heart attacks because of this.
Smoking thickens the blood to the point where it cannot flow freely through the veins and arteries, which puts smokers into an extremely high risk category for having strokes as well. This is because thicker blood is also more susceptible to forming clots and damaging the lining of the blood vessels as a result. Owing to the fact that the blood too thick to flow freely, it also cannot help remove fatty deposits and cholesterol build-up in the arteries. Smokers who engage in the habit for many years can end up having to have toes and feet amputated as a result of poor blood circulation as well.
Sexual and hormonal changes
Thanks to the toxic compounds found in cigarettes, men who smoke regularly will find that they are no longer able to get and keep an erection, which will in turn have a negative effect on their sex lives. In some cases, these harmful ingredients can also alter the composition of sperm, which can result in their partners having babies who are born with defects. Women who smoke will also experience a drop in oestrogen levels, which will cause them to suffer from dry skin, thinning hair, memory loss and even early menopause. It will also be far more difficult for these women to fall pregnant and have healthy babies.
Opting for a safer alternative
When it comes to kicking the smoking habit, many people think that there are no other alternatives that they can turn to in order to keep their hands busy. However, the recent introduction of e-cigarettes to the consumer market means that smokers can still enjoy their habit, but without many of the health risks associated with regular cigarettes. Added advantages of switching to e-cigarettes include the fact that they are available in a wide range of flavours, they leave no unpleasant smell (unlike regular cigarette smoke), they are far safer than traditional cigarettes in that no flame is required to light up and enjoy using them and no ash residue is left behind afterwards.
If you are eager to quit smoking but have been unsure of how to go about doing so, why not browse our site to see what we can offer you in the form of e-cigarettes? Not only will you save money in the long term; you will also be taking an active step towards improving your health as well as the health of those around you.