What Cigarettes REALLY Do To Your Body

Categories: Well-being

Here’s the Truth…

It’s no secret: Smoking is bad for you. Really, really bad for you. In fact, 87% of people who die from lung cancer are smokers. But what exactly happens to your body when you take a drag of a cigarette? In this video, internist Paul Knoepflmacher, MD, breaks down the journey of the toxic cigarette smoke, and explains the many harmful effects of smoking on your body.

Here are some of the worst ways smoking affects your body:

1. Damage To Your Mouth and Throat

Smoking damages the mouth and throat by creating an abnormal thickening of the lining of the throat. Smokers may notice a decrease in their senses of taste and smell due to the damage from the cigarette smoke.

2. Affects Your Lungs

Once cigarette smoke reaches the lungs, it may reduce the body’s ability to fight off viruses, bacteria, and respiratory illnesses. The airways develop a thick lining of mucus, which can cause chronic coughing and breathing problems.

3. Serious Heart Problems

The effects of smoking on the heart are also startling. The heart is already the hardest-working organ in the body, and a smoker’s heart has to pound 36,000 more times a day than that of a non-smoker. That puts a smoker at risk for hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.

4. Causes Bone Problems

Smoking even affects your bones. Studies have found a direct relationship between loss in bone density and smoking. Cigarette use may cause weak, brittle bones, which increases the smoker’s chances for osteoporosis or fractures.

5. Affects Your Sex Life

Cigarettes may take a toll on your sex life, too. Because the narrowed arteries cannot circulate blood effectively, men can experience difficulty getting an erection. Smoking may also cause lower sperm counts in men and lower fertility in women.

6. Takes a Toll on Your Appearance

The effects of smoking on your appearance are obvious. They include wrinkly skin, stained teeth and nails, tooth decay, and thinning hair. The wrinkles are mostly caused by the lack of oxygen reaching the skin cells.

So, yeah: Smoking is toxic for your entire body. But the good news is that your body begins to repair itself almost instantly after you quit smoking. (Here’s the exact timeline of what happens after the last cigarette.) Ready to kick butt? You can do it!

Share your smoking cessation story with us and get a #HealthyWestOrange hat!

Information courtesy of  HealthiNation.

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