Are you a chain smoker? Here’s what smoking cigarettes do to your body.
You may already be familiar with the dangers of smoking, but there’s so much more that happens inside your body when you take a puff of a cigarette. Also Read – Experts call for ban on designated smoking areas as such zones are ‘likely hotspots for COVID transmission' Smoking is one of the most important causes of implicated in lung cancer, but you probably already knew this. However, you do not realize that smoking plays a major role in determining your risk of developing other types of cancer, chronic lung disorder, stroke, heart disease, constipation, and infertility. Also Read – Beware! Smoking daily can put you at risk of fatal stroke
Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco that gives you the constant urge to continue smoking. But, along with this nicotine, people who smoke inhale about 7,000 other chemicals which can cause major health complications. Here, in this article, you will get to know what your smoking habit does to your body. Also Read – 'Casual' smokers may also have nicotine addiction: Home remedies to help you quit smoking
WHAT HAPPENS INSIDE YOUR MOUTH AFTER SMOKING CIGARETTES
Whether you light your cigarette using a matchstick or a lighter, the first puff is the most damaging. The smoke emitted from the match and the cigarette form a strong cocktail that can leave the mucous lining in your nose damaged. Here’s what happens inside your mouth when you smoke.
When the smoke is inside your mouth, the tar starts to coat the enamel of your teeth, discoloring them.
The heat from the smoke also damages the cells in and around your mouth, and in some cases leading to a change in their DNA – causing mutations. Once inside the mouth the tar and other chemicals affect all parts of your oral cavity.
The chemicals present in a cigarette are numerous and they form a coat on your tongue, palate, and the inside of your cheeks. It deadens your taste buds, hyperactivates your salivary glands, and eventually blocks them, leading to a lack of saliva in your mouth. That is also one of the reasons smokers need a drink of water after a smoke.
The tar and chemicals also coat the roof of your mouth, leading to a condition called the ‘smoker’s palate’ where the roof of your mouth gets coated with a whitish residue with small red spots protruding from it. These protrusions are actually the opening of ducts of glands present on the palate.
Smoking also kills the good bacteria within your mouth, giving way to bad breath and a condition called oral thrush.
Now, you all know what exactly happens inside your mouth when you smoke. But do you what happens to your health? Smoking gives rise to several health conditions which you should know to help yourself or your close ones understand why it is so important to quit smoking right now. Let’s dive in.
# Effects your respiratory system
The effects of tobacco smoke on the respiratory system include irritation in your windpipe and voice box. It also contributes to the impairment of your lungs’ clearance system, leading to the build-up of poisonous substances, which results in lung irritation and damage. Smoking can also lead to permanent damage to the air sacs of the lungs.
# Smoking Affects Your Eyes
Smoking doesn’t do your peepers any good. Smoking increases your risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 65.
# Causes Type 2 Diabetes
Smoking contributes to type 2 diabetes and increases the risk of complications from the disease— including poor blood flow to legs and feet. This can lead to infection and result in the need to amputate a limb. Yep–you could lose your foot or leg!
# Leads To Erectile Dysfunction
Male sexual function is affected when you smoke. Tobacco causes narrowing of blood vessels all over your body, including those that supply blood to the penis. The good news is that quitting will make a big difference.
# Causes Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer, which forms in your intestines (colon or rectum), is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. One of the reasons? Yup, cigarette smoking. Smoking is linked to an increased risk of developing and dying from this type of cancer.
# Affect Joints And Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease more common in women that affects the joints in your hands and feet. It causes painful swelling that can eventually result in bone loss and joint deformity. Smoking is one of the causes and is also associated with developing the disease at an earlier age.
# Smoking Leads To Major Gum Diseases
Smoking contributes to periodontitis—a gum infection that destroys the bone that supports the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Scary isn’t it? Well, not just these, smoking can also reduce your chances of conceiving. Both male and female reproductive organs get negatively affected due to long-term smoking. Now you must be planning to quit smoking, but not sure how to? Here are a few tips that can help you to do so easily.
TIPS TO GET RID OF SMOKING
Giving up smoking can be hard, but you can do it. Although it may seem daunting, it can take a few attempts to be successful. Don’t be put off – just deciding to quit is a step in the right direction. Try these few simple tips to help you on your way.
# Nicotine Replacement Therapy
When you stop smoking, nicotine withdrawal may give you headaches, affect your mood, or sap your energy. The craving for “just one drag” is tough. Nicotine replacement therapy can curb these urges. Studies show that nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches improve your chances of success when you’re also in a quit-smoking program.
# Get Sufficient Exercise
Did you know that exercise causes the release of mood-enhancing endorphins? Well, exercising helps you to deal with the feelings of melancholy that sometimes accompanies the effort to give up cigarettes. Hence, sticking to your routine of exercise plays a key role in helping you to get rid of smoking. According to Ayurveda, the practice of specific breathing techniques such as bhastrika pranayama helps you to flush out the contaminant from cigarette smoke from the upper respiratory tract. Many Ayurvedic experts also advise those who have decided to quit smoking to perform Neti Kriyayoga twice in the day (morning and evening). Visit an authentic yoga instructor and learn these techniques thoroughly. Practice them as prescribed to keep stress away and stay firm with your decision to quit smoking.
# Make Changes to Your Diet
Quite a few people who quit smoking, experience a peculiar bitter taste. To deal with this problem, change the food you consume as this might help you to adapt better to this situation. A vegetarian diet low in fat is the best to stoat off with. Apart from this,
Increase your consumption of alkaline foods such as dry nuts, sprouts, lima beans, and raisins
Cut down on the acidic content of your food by reducing foods such as bread, coffee, tea, dairy products, and meat.
Also, lack of nicotine can increase your appetite even as it slows down body metabolism and this means a tendency to gain weight. So, avoid this by munching only on low-calorie foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, when you feel hungry. Quitting smoking is not a single event that happens on one day; it is a journey. By quitting, you will improve your health and the quality and duration of your life. So, the next time you light up that cigarette, think about what your body goes through to support your habit.