The Health Risks of Smoking - The Basics You Need to Know
Posted in: Health
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. But do you know why? In today’s post we outline what you need to know.
Why is smoking bad for you?
According to the CDC, smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the US, with nearly 480,000 people dying each year from smoking-related diseases. That’s 1 out of every 5 deaths.
Smoking causes three main types of disease – cancer; respiratory diseases, like chronic bronchitis; and heart disease.
What is it in tobacco that causes health problems?
Nicotine and tobacco smoke contains nearly 4000 harmful chemicals. When combined, cigarette smoke creates tar, which sticks to your skin, clothes and hair – and enters your lungs, preventing them from working properly.
It’s the deadly combination of nicotine and tobacco that causes cancer. Nicotine is also highly addictive making it difficult to kick the habit.
My partner and family smoke – can this harm me?
Yes, inhaling second-hand smoke is bad for your health, too. Passive smoking increases the risk of asthma, allergic reactions, bronchitis and ear infections, alongside some far more serious diseases.
Passive smoking increases the risk of lung cancer by about 25%. Children who grow up exposed to smoke risk having under-developed lungs and an increased risk of meningitis and cot death.
What about smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes?
Smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco, or snuff) is better for your lungs – but that’s all as it still contains nicotine. E-cigarettes are also tar-smoke free, they but still contain carcinogenic chemicals and nicotine. Studies have also found that many people simply use these products alongside traditional cigarettes.
Are you are thinking of giving up smoking, and want support and a place to start? Verified Doctors on JustAnswer are available 24/7 to answer your questions and help you kick the habit for good.