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How Smoking Affects Your Body

There's hardly a part of the human body that's not affected by the chemicals in the cigarettes you smoke. Let's take a tour of your body to look at how smoking affects it.

Starting at the Top

As a smoker, you're at risk for cancer of the mouth. Tobacco smoke can also cause gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. The teeth become unsightly and yellow. Smokers may experience frequent headaches. And lack of oxygen and narrowed blood vessels to the brain can lead to strokes.

Lungs and Bronchi

Moving down to your chest, smoke passes through the bronchi, or breathing tubes. Hydrogen cyanide and other chemicals in the smoke attack the lining of the bronchi, inflaming them and causing that chronic smoker's cough. Because the bronchi are weakened, you're more likely to get bronchial infections. Mucus secretion in your lungs is impaired, also leading to chronic coughing. Smokers are 10 times as likely to get lung cancer and emphysema as nonsmokers.

Smoking and the Heart

The effects of smoking on your heart are devastating. Nicotine raises blood pressure and makes the blood clot more easily. Carbon monoxide robs the blood of oxygen and leads to the development of cholesterol deposits on the artery walls. All of these effects add up to an increased risk of heart attack. In addition, the poor circulation resulting from cholesterol deposits can cause strokes, loss of circulation in fingers and toes and impotence.

Smoking and the Body's Organs

The digestive system is also affected. The tars in smoke can trigger cancer of the esophagus and throat. Smoking causes increased stomach acid secretion, leading to heartburn and ulcers. Smokers have higher rates of deadly pancreatic cancer. Many of the carcinogens from cigarettes are excreted in the urine where their presence can cause bladder cancer, which is often fatal. High blood pressure from smoking can damage the kidneys.

The Results

The health effects of smoking have results we can measure. Forty percent of men who are heavy smokers will die before they reach retirement age, as compared to only 18 percent of nonsmokers. Women who smoke face an increased risk of cervical cancer, and pregnant women who smoke take a chance with the health of their unborn babies.

But the good news is that when you quit smoking your body begins to repair itself. Ten years after you quit, your body has repaired most of the damage smoking caused. Those who wait until cancer or emphysema has set in aren't so lucky—these conditions are usually fatal. It's one more reason to take the big step and quit now

How does Smoking Hurt Your Lungs and Body

Smoking has innumerable harmful effects on the human body. The ill effects caused by smoking, range from different types of cancers, cough, pneumonia, rise in blood pressure, etc. Let's understand more about how does smoking hurt your lungs and body.

Smoking involves the inhalation of different substances including opium, cannabis and tobacco. Tobacco is however, the commonly used substance for smoking. Smoking affects the body in many ways and leads to fatal problems in extreme cases. It is responsible for health problems such as heart attacks, lung cancer and birth defects.

How does Smoking Hurt Your Lungs and Body

A wide range of harmful chemicals are inhaled by a person who indulges in smoking. These chemicals are the cause of different health problems in smokers. The common lung problems caused by smoking are bronchial infections, colds and
pneumonia. Smoking not only hurts the lungs, but also the other parts of body.

Effects on Lungs

The commonly observed problem among smokers is the excessive production of mucous. The cells producing mucous grow to large number due to the inhalation of smoke. The cells also grow thicker over time due to the effect of smoke. The cilia (tiny hair) present in the lung perform the task of cleaning. Smoke also slows down the functioning of cilia. Thus, the process of mucous removal from the lungs gets affected. If the problem aggravates, it might culminate into chronic cough. The airs sacks present in the lungs get damaged due to smoking. Although new air sacks are regularly produced in the body, their effectiveness in cleaning the body reduces due to smoking. The lungs also start aging prematurely, which thereby reduces their oxygen carrying capacity. A smoker might suffer from different ailments and in some cases, even lung cancer. Some other problems caused by smoking are wheezing, shortness of breath and emphysema. The problem of emphysema doesn't have any cure. Patients suffering from emphysema are treated with oxygen therapy, which however, is just a temporary relief.

Effects on the Rest of the Body

Other than the lungs, many parts of the body are affected by smoking. The mouth is the first to be affected by the ill effects of smoking. Common mouth problems that smokers suffer from, are
tooth decay, yellowing of teeth, gum diseases, and bad breath. Besides the above problems, smokers also face the risk of mouth cancer. Headaches and strokes are also results of excessive smoking. The lack of oxygen supply results from the weakening of lungs which causes the narrowing of blood vessels. This problem can lead to the patient suffering from strokes.

Tobacco smoking raises the nicotine level in the blood and further increases the blood pressure. Clotting of blood also increases considerably due to nicotine. Carbon monoxide present in the smoke of the cigarette causes cholesterol to be deposited on the walls of the artery. The overall effect of the above mentioned problems might increase the possibility of the smoker facing a
heart attack.

The smoke produced from cigarettes contains a substance called tar. Tar causes the cancer of the esophagus and the throat. Acid secretion in the stomach is also increased due to smoking. The problems resulting from excessive acid secretion are ulcers and heartburn. The risk of smokers contracting
pancreatic cancer is high as compared to non-smokers. Bladder cancer is also a big risk smokers face, as the carcinogens emitted by cigarettes are passed through the urinary bladder. The rise in blood pressure due to smoking can damage the kidneys.

According to the general trends observed by doctors and scientists, around 40% of smokers die before reaching the age of retirement.
Women who smoke regularly, are prone to cervical cancer. Pregnant women should not smoke, even if they are habitual to smoking as it might have harmful effects on the health of the unborn baby.

As we have seen how smoking can hurt your lungs and body, one should seriously think about
quitting this habit. If one chooses to quit smoking in the early stages, chances are that the body recovers from the bad effects of smoking.

Smoking Effects

Smoking is a dangerous to health.Head to toe - smoking effects can be seen on each part of your body. Let's go step by step and find out the dangerous smoking effects on your body.


Let's begin from the top i.e. your hair. Smoking effects can be felt on your hair. You hair becomes smelly and stained due to instant smoking effects. Slow hair growth, thinning and graying of hair is also believed to be a direct smoking effect. Your hair will look and feel lifeless and dull.


Smoking effects on brain are highly dangerous. Blockage of carotid artery may cut off the blood supply to the brain cells, which results in stroke (cerebral thrombosis). Blood thickening and clotting are also serious smoking effects and smokers are 1.5 times more likely to have stroke as compared to non-smokers.


Dangerous smoking effects on eyes include common eye diseases such as Graves' ophthalmopathy, age- related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataract. The worst smoking effect on eyes can be permanent blindness.



Smoking effects on your nose can rob you of your sense of smell.

Teeth and Gums

Do you ever wonder why your teeth are so yellow and stained? Do your gums bleed every morning you wake up? Well, it's because of the direct smoking effect on your teeth. Also smoking effects are not limited to the appearance of your teeth but also results in plaque, loose teeth, gum disease and gingivitis.

Mouth and Throat

All cancers associated with the larynx, oral cavity and esophagus are fatal smoking effects. The less dangerous smoking effects are reduced sense of taste, sore throat and smelly breath.


Poor blood circulation which leads to cold fingers, tar stained fingers, peripheral vascular disease and amputation due to gangrene are some of the heart-wrenching smoking effects.

Lungs and Respiratory System

The most dreaded lung cancer, feeling out of breath, colds and flu, pneumonia, asthma, cough and sputum, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, phew... are all smoking effects which will more or less make your life hell.


Two immediate smoking effects on heart and circulation are an increase in your heartbeat rate and a sharp rise in blood pressure.

Long term smoking effects are increase in the blood cholesterol and fibrinogen levels and increase in chances of having a heartattack. Smoking effects on your heart leads to coronary heart disease, aneurysm, peripheral vascular disease, stroke etc.

Digestive System

Smoking effects are heartburn, peptic ulcers, Crohn's disease, gallstones and stomach cancer.


Wrinkles, capillaries and premature ageing and scarring are few smoking effects on skin.

Legs and Feet

Beurger's disease, leg pain and gangrene are painful smoking effects.