The most common smoking health effect is breathing problems. Smokers tend to develop an assortment of respiratory diseases including bronchitis, pneumonia and even emphysema. Not all smokers will develop these problems, however. I suspect there is a genetic component that makes some people more susceptible to these problems
Bronchitis is a disease where excess mucus in the lungs causes a person to be unable to properly absorb oxygen. This causes constant coughing. Emphysema, also called “lung rot,” is a degenerative disease. People with emphysema often have chronic shortness of breath. It usually gets worse when a person tries to do activities. Unfortunately, the smoking health effect of emphysema is irreversible – once the lungs are damaged, they cannot heal, which means the damage is permanent.
Another smoking health effect is the one a lot of people should worry about: cancer. Smoking is known to cause lung cancer. Smoking irritates the lungs and causes chemicals to build up in the lungs, damaging the cells. The irritation triggers inflammation and then the lung’s membranes are destroyed. The scar tissue that develops then has no ability to fight off carcinogens that cause cancer, which is why cancer is one of the most common smoking health effects. (It’s also why many people have to ignore the effects of smoking cessation and just quit.)
Are There Any Other Health Effects Of Smoking?
Not all of the smoking health effects are what you’d think as well. In addition to the negative effects of smoking on health, it can have an effect on other aspects of life. It can also affect someone’s career. Smokers typically fall ill more often and their illnesses last longer, so they miss more work.
People who smoke also have to deal with something unexpected: their smoking causes the health effect of lower survival rates post-surgery. Smoking reduces the body’s ability to heal and causes delayed wound healing, damage to the host body’s natural defenses (which means it’s harder to fight off infection) and even reduce immune response. Smokers are also at greater risk for complications after surgery including pneumonia and wound infections as well as other respiratory complications.
But what causes the negative health effects of smoking? Well, cigarettes are composed of tar and nicotine. Tar is a carcinogen, or something that is known to cause cancer. Tar is what’s responsible for a large chunk of smoking health effects. Nicotine, meanwhile, is an additive. It’s known for being both highly dangerous – in large amounts it can kill people and was once used as a poison – and highly addictive; nicotine is why people get hooked on smoking despite the negative health effects of smoking. In addition to tar and nicotine, another thing that causes negative smoking health effects is the carbon monoxide that the cigarette produces; it reduces the level of oxygen in the body.