Effects Caused by Smoking You Didn’t Know About
By 1964, it was official: The U.S Surgeon General confirmed that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. But in the 50 plus years that followed, we learned that smoking is responsible for a heap of other awful diseases, contributing to the tobacco epidemic we face today.
Here are some health consequences of smoking you might not have heard before.
- Going Blind 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.
- 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.
- 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. Good news is that quitting will make a big difference.
- Ectopic Pregnancy Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening reproductive complication in women that is more likely in smokers. It occurs when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus.The egg can’t survive and it puts mom’s life at serious risk.
- Hip Fractures Smokers lose bone density at a faster rate than non-smokers which puts you at risk for breaking body parts like your hip. Putting down the cigarettes can help slow down this process and keep you breaking a sweat, not your bones, on the dance floor.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cleft Lip and. Cleft Palate These birth defects, commonly called orofacial clefts, occur when a baby’s lip or mouth doesn’t develop properly during pregnancy. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have babies with orofacial clefts.
- Fertility Issues Moms-to-be takes note: Smoking can affect your ability to conceive. It causes reduced fertility in women and can contribute to other problems during pregnancy.
- Gum Diseases As if potentially losing a limb isn’t enough, you also risk losing your teeth from smoking. Smoking contributes to periodontis—a gum infection that destroys the bone that supports the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
- Bones Smoking can cause your bones to become weak and brittle. Women need to be especially careful as they are more likely to suffer from brittle bones (osteoporosis) than non-smokers.
Skin Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to your skin. This means that if you smoke, your skin ages more quickly and looks grey and dull. The toxins in your body also cause cellulite.
Smoking prematurely ages your skin by between 10 and 20 years and makes it three times more likely you’ll get facial wrinkling, particularly around the eyes and mouth. Smoking even gives you a sallow, yellow-grey complexion and hollow cheeks, which can cause you to look gaunt.
The good news is that once you stop smoking, you will prevent further deterioration to your skin caused by smoking.
DID YOU KNOW?
42 states and Washington D.C. spend less than half of what the CDC recommends on their state tobacco prevention programs….