LabQuest Medical Director, Candidate of Medical Sciences Sciences, Clinical Laboratory Medical Diagnostics
“Tobacco smoke and the habit associated with it, smoking, are the most obvious cause of damage to the body, but they do not lose their relevance.”
Why is smoking harmful?
Most people start smoking at an age when the harmful effects of tobacco are not noticeable and the body’s reserves are even greater.
According to the WHO, smoking is the leading cause of premature death (more than 8 million people die each year from tobacco-related diseases) and is also responsible for the development of most chronic non-communicable diseases.
For those who start smoking regularly during adolescence, the risk of dying from tobacco consumption increases to 50%. Death occurs in middle age, which corresponds to 22 years of lost life expectancy.
Smoking is responsible for 90% of lung cancer cases. Given the accompanying changes, such as chronic bronchitis, early radiological changes may be missed, leading to tumor diagnosis at later stages.
Clinical protocols for the examination and treatment of patients with lung cancer always take smoking into account; The scope of the examination of the tumor tissue, the prognosis of its aggressiveness and the choice of therapy will depend on this.
The carcinogenic properties of smoke also extend to the organs that interact with it, such as the larynx, esophagus, throat, tongue and oral cavity. Cancer in these locations is very aggressive: mutilation and appearance alteration operations are used during treatment.
What happens to your memory when you stop smoking?
Smoking is also taken into account when assessing cardiovascular risks: the longer the experience, the higher the risk group for developing serious cardiovascular complications and thrombosis. At the same time, suddenly quitting smoking can reduce the risk group, but not significantly.
The nicotine itself and carbon monoxide contained in tobacco smoke damage the endothelium, the inner wall of blood vessels, blood flow is disturbed, cholesterol levels increase, and these factors together contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Consequently, the risk of suffering a stroke increases.
Chronic smoking is characterized by more active reactions associated with adrenaline and norepinephrine, and a more rapid vascular reaction (myocardial infarction associated with vascular spasm caused by smoking) provides less time for the possibility of resuscitation.
The vascular response to smoking provokes the development of arterial hypertension, and the vascular response under the influence of smoke becomes faster, which increases the risk of stroke and its consequences.
Why passive smoking is no less dangerous
Addiction also endangers the lives of people around the smoker: passive smoking increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease five times and also increases the risk of developing lung cancer. In fact, not only nicotine and tar are found in tobacco smoke, but also about 76 metals, including nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium, mercury, chromium and lead.
Passive smoking is a common cause of asthma in children, and if the parents’ bad habit does not stop, the child has difficulties with physical and mental development.
4 non-obvious consequences of smoking. They also apply to passive smokers.
Tobacco smoke disrupts the functioning of the digestive system, gastrointestinal motility, and also increases the risk of ulcerative lesions of the gastric mucosa.
Exposure of the skin to combustion products affects the protective properties of the epidermis and collagen and causes premature aging. Additionally, smoking nullifies the effect of most cosmetic procedures.
Tobacco smoke has a negative effect on the nervous system, leading the person to a chronic lack of oxygen, which affects nerve cells, mainly the cerebral cortex. The constant spasm of the blood vessels deprives them of oxygen and nutrients and prevents the elimination of toxic products.
Smoking is a psychological addiction that puts a person in a state of irritation, looking for the next dose of smoke, and the awareness of addiction affects self-esteem and social qualities. If you can’t overcome a bad habit on your own, seek help from a specialist.
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