CareNow® - September 06, 2013
by CareNow

Nicotine is the most recognized ingredient in tobacco because it’s what makes cigarettes addictive. The negative effects of smoking come from a combination of nicotine and about 7,000 other chemicals found in cigarettes. Here’s a look at just a few ways smoking negatively affects your body.

The Respiratory System

  • Irritated larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe)
  • Reduced lung function caused by narrowing and swelling of airways and excess mucus in the lungs
  • Irritated lungs caused by a buildup of poisons
  • Higher risk of lung disease
  • Permanent lung damage

The Circulatory System

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Tightened blood vessels, causing a drop in skin temperature
  • Less oxygenated blood
  • Stickier blood prone to clotting
  • Damaged arteries
  • Reduced blood flow to fingers and toes
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke due to decreased blood supply

The Immune System

  • Lower levels of antioxidants in the blood
  • Partially compromised immune system
  • More prone to infections, such as the flu and pneumonia
  • When illnesses occur, they are more severe

The Musculoskeletal System

  • Tighter muscles in some places
  • Reduced bone density

Other Parts of the Body

  • Stomach and intestine inflammation
  • Increased risk for ulcers in the digestive tract
  • Reduced sense of taste and smell
  • Premature skin wrinkling
  • Higher chance of blindness
  • Higher risk of periodontitis (gum disease)

The Male Body

  • Lower sperm count
  • Higher proportion of deformed sperm due to genetic damage
  • Impotence

The Female Body

  • Reduced fertility
  • Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
  • Earlier onset of menopause
  • Increased risk of cervical cancer
  • Greater risk for stroke and heart attack if over 35 years old and taking oral contraceptives

An Unborn Baby

  • Increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth
  • Lower birth weight, which may affect the child’s growth and development
  • Increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure in adulthood
  • Greater chance for cleft palate and lip

Ultimately, smoking damages every organ in your body. If you’re ready to quit, or other you want assistance with other health concerns, please visit one of CareNow’s 23 Dallas-Fort Worth locations.