Diseases caused by smoking are many. Studies have been conducted to establish why smoking causes diseases. These studies were able to prove that the ingredients in cigarettes and tobacco products are the culprits. The ingredients can cause cancer and diseases. Some of these ingredients are nicotine, acrolein, tar, nitrosamine, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, radioactive carcinogens, and many more. Below are some diseases caused by smoking.
People who smoke develop lung cancer. And people who don’t smoke can also develop lung cancer. In the United States, 87% of lung cancer cases have been attributed to smoking. People who smoked at some point in their lives have a 1 in 10 chance of developing lung cancer. And it increases to 1 in 6 if they continue smoking. Secondhand smoke increases lung cancer risk by 20 to 30%.
Tar lungs and smoker’s cough are two diseases caused by smoking. Both are attributed to tar in cigarettes and tobacco products. Tar accumulates in the lungs. When accumulation becomes too much for the lungs to remove, tar lungs develops. On the other hand, smoker’s cough develops because coughing is another way for the lungs to remove the tar deposits.
Other diseases caused by smoking include heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis. These are caused by nicotine which leads to constriction of blood vessels. Smokers are 5 times more likely to suffer a heart attack. Secondhand smoking increases heart disease risk by 25 to 30%.
Long term exposure to cyanide and carbon monoxide, which are found in smoke, lead to diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema. Smokers who consume at least 20 cigarettes a day increase their tuberculosis risk by 2 to 4 times.
Infections are also diseases caused by smoking. Some of these are invasive pneumococcal disease, chronic bronchitis, common colds, and other pulmonary and respiratory infections. Other diseases caused by smoking are periodontitis, halitosis or bad breath, leukoplakia, asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis, and many others.
A fetus exposed to secondhand smoke is likely to be born with low birth weight or small for gestational age. These two smoking diseases predispose the infant to other diseases like jaundice and breathing difficulty. Sudden infant death syndrome is also caused by secondhand smoke. 430 infant deaths in the United States every year has been attributed to this smoking disease. Other diseases caused by smoking in infants are impaired motor skills, cognitive deficits, attention deficit hyperactivity disease, developmental delays, and many others.
These are just some diseases caused by smoking. And all these could lead to death. 2.5 to 10 years is reduced from a smoker’s life expectancy. And each consumed cigarette is equal to losing 11 minutes of your life. Quit smoking now! Choose life!
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