Tobacco smoke contains several chemical compounds. These are even more than 7000 in number and most of them are toxic in nature, and some even include polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and cancer-causing tobacco nitrosamines, etc. There are several reasons to avoid tobacco and the impact on health is one of the important ones. This article discusses why tobacco is bad for health?
Why Tobacco is Bad for Health?
Consuming tobacco or smoking cigarette in any other forms cause more than 25 diseases including cancer of lungs, cervical, bladder, esophagus, kidney, larynx, mouth or oral, and heart diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic and acute respiratory diseases, etc. Tobacco smoking is one of the lethal slow death-causing agents, which are merrily adopted by people without considering the fact that how deadly it is to continue smoking. Some studies have shown that one cigarette reduces a person’s life by 11 minutes.1 Every year tobacco is killing millions of people around the globe, which not only affect health but also impacts family wealth and happiness.
The main reason why tobacco is bad for health is that inhaling tobacco or smoke components can affect the lungs directly. Over a period of time, this might lead to irreparable damage, which can even turn out to be fatal. With the increasing infections and diseases, people who consume tobacco are more at risks of developing conditions like:
- Chronic Bronchitis: It causes permanent inflammation of the lining of the lungs as well as the breathing tubes.
- Emphysema: It leads to complete damage of the air sacs of the lungs.
- Lung Cancer: It is a fatal condition.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD: This is another fatal condition of the lungs that occurs due to tobacco over-usage.
Tobacco consumption in every form leaves adverse ill effects over the human body. Below are a few detailed impacts of tobacco over different organ systems:
Tobacco damages the cardiovascular system of the body. Nicotine present in it, causes the blood vessels to tighten or contract, which in turn can restrict the blood flow. It can raise blood pressure, weaken vessel walls, cause blood clots and even stroke. Over a period of time, ongoing blood vessel narrowing can damage the vessels and even cause peripheral artery disease.
These risks even increase for people who already underwent heart attack, heart bypass surgery or stent placement, etc. Every year an increasing number of heart attacks and strokes are reported amongst a group of smokers or tobacco consumers. This is one of the main reasons why tobacco is bad for health.
Integumentary System or Skin, Hair, and Nails:
This includes the biggest organ system of the body, which superficially covers all other organs present inside. More obvious and visible impacts of tobacco are observed on the skin. Another reason why tobacco is bad for health.
Even skin cancers like squamous cell carcinoma can also be an adverse effect of tobacco. Besides fungal nail infections, hair loss, baldness, graying of hair, etc. are other effects of tobacco which are observed in the majority of smokers.
Impact of Tobacco on the Digestive System:
When considering, why tobacco is bad for health, it is important to understand its effects on the digestive system. Tobacco affects the digestive tract starting from the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, and the stomach. Tobacco can cause cancer in any part of the digestive tract. It can alter the insulin resistance of the body putting a person at risk of type 2 diabetes and its complications. It can even increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Negative Effects of Tobacco on the Reproductive System or Sexuality:
Tobacco and nicotine also affect the blood flow in the genital areas. This can alter the sexual performance of a person irrespective of the gender. In women, it might cause a decrease in lubrication or alter orgasm capacity. In men, besides altering sex hormones and sexual desire, it can decrease the performance potential. It can also cause erectile dysfunction and infertility in men by reducing the quality and quantity of the sperm.
Does Tobacco Consumption In A Different Form Have Lesser Impacts?
No, it actually does not make any difference in how tobacco is consumed because there is nothing known as a safe substance in the tobacco. Even the inhaled components of tobacco not only adversely impact the lungs but the entire body.
Where on one side tobacco causes a variety of risks and diseases if consumed over long durations, similarly, on the other hand, its short duration consumption also causes big troubles in people who already suffer from any disease.
Tobacco is incredibly harmful to health. There is no safe cigarette or tobacco form available in any way. So even choosing to replace the cigarette with hookah or cigar or pipe will not be able to minimize the risks it imposes in any way.
What is Passive Smoking and what are its Impacts?
Besides the active adverse effects of using tobacco, there are passive effects of it as well. Passive smoking affects people who do not directly consume it but are exposed to tobacco smoke or second-hand smoke. These can be children, women, men, elderly people, friends or family members or people around smokers. These non-smokers or non-tobacco consumers are exposed to passive tobacco when they are around tobacco smokers causing coughing, asthma attacks, wheezing, bronchitis and even pneumonia in some cases. Passive contact with tobacco also causes several diseases and even lung cancer. Every individual’s body responds differently so does the toxins over the body causing different diseases in people. Thus tobacco is not only bad for a person’s health but has a great impact on their near ones too.
Stopping or quitting tobacco consumption can be done by wise planning and assistance of a doctor. Several prescription and over the counter substitutes are available to help in quitting tobacco and its forms. Further, many centers and quit tobacco or smoking plans are available online, which when followed with determination actually helps to get rid of it. With an increasing number of diseases, it becomes essential for all to take responsibility for health and opt for healthy lifestyle changes for longer and happier life.
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