There is a vast amount of research indicating that smoking has a negative impact on health. Many individuals still struggle with breaking the habit but more than ever people are proving that it can be done. Today there are actually more former smokers than current smokers. Maintaining awareness of the impact smoking has on an individual’s health can aid in one’s cessations efforts.
Smoking increases a person’s risk for the following conditions:
- Osteoporosis – Links between tobacco use and bone density result in the condition leading to weakened bones and even fractures
- Coronary heart disease - chemicals from cigarettes harm blood vessels, in CHD plaque builds up in the arteries causing damage
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – One of the leading causes of death in the US, sufferers of COPD experience wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness that worsens over time.
- Cancer – There are 70 chemicals in cigarettes that are known carcinogens. Just a few of the cancers linked to tobacco use are bladder, tongue, throat, cervical, stomach and lung cancer.
- Infections- Smokers are at a higher risk of developing infections such as pneumonia. They are also more likely to have complications post surgery.
It is clear that by quitting smoking an individual can significantly lower his or her health risks. Aside from overall improvement in health, studies indicate that you can add six to eight years to your life, save an average of $1,800 a year and reduce your loved ones exposure to second hand smoke.
Your primary care doctor is your first port of call should you have concerns regarding your health. They can provide you with referrals to smoking cessation programs and other health professionals to further enhance positive lifestyle changes.