, Research Paper
Effects of Smoking On the Body
Smoking cigarettes has been proven too be extremely dangerous to your health, which causes various forms of cancer and other life threatening diseases. There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke and 200 of those are known poisons. Smoking cigarettes for as few as a couple of years can have permanent effects on the body. Smoking can effect the heart and lungs; mouth and throat; arms, legs, skin and the mind.
One big area of where smoking harms the body is the heart and lungs. Smoking causes your heart to work much harder and faster then normal, meaning tremendous stress on that area. Smokers have a greater chance of developing irregular heartbeats than non-smokers. Blood pressure levels increase as well as the chance of a heart attack or stroke because the blood vessels are constricted. Even though the heart is beating much faster, Effects on the Body (1997) it is not able to fully circulate the blood and can result in congestive heart failure. Because the lungs have to handle so much smoke, the bronchial lining must thicken for protection. This thickening can lead to a greater chance of lung cancer. Effects on the Body (1997) As the lungs continually push smoke toxins through the body; they will lose the ability to add oxygen to the blood, which can cause difficulty in breathing (emphysema).
Another huge effect that smoking has on the body is on the skin and in the arms and legs. Smoking causes vasoconstriction. This is where the blood vessels in your skin narrow and oxygen and nutrients cant get to the skin cells. Vasoconstriction usually occurs in the facial area where one might get premature wrinkling with, Effects on the Body (1997) crow s feet around the eyes and pale, gray skin on the cheeks. Smokers are usually the only group at risk of getting peripheral vascular disease. This is where the
blood vessels in the arms and legs have narrowed, which in turn may lead to an amputation of a limb in the future.
At the contact point and start of inhalation of the smoke, the mouth and throat, are other areas of concern. When a person smokes, the tar in the cigarette gets caught up in the respiratory tracts. This causes bad breath and is why when you breathe, you have it. Continuous smoking causes the throat lining to thicken which in time will eventually cause throat cancer. Other nasty effects of continuous smoking are discolored teeth, tooth loss and gum disease.
The effects of smoking leads to the deterioration of the brain, thereby causing a
reduction in a persons ability to think. Mental Health (1995) Smoking is one of the four heart disease risk factors that can effect your cognitive skills. Other risks are high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. It is said that the more risk factors a person has, the more likely their mental functions will decline. It is important for people who possess these risk factors to work on reducing them. The nicotine in cigarettes makes smoking very addicting. A person trying to cut down or even quit smoking will begin to go through nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine causes a chemical dependency, so that the body develops a need for a certain amount of nicotine at times. Most symptoms of withdrawal will occur within forty-eight hours from quitting to being gone after about six months. There are many symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, which are stressful and very unpleasant. Mental Health (1995) Sweating or rapid pulse, insomnia, nausea or vomiting, physical agitation, anxiety, headaches, irritability, difficulty concentrating, depression and increased hunger are some characteristics to nicotine withdrawal.