How cigarette smoking affects your whole Body
Stress or boredom can have people craving for nicotine to help relieve their moods. While it is common knowledge that smoking is not good for health, not many know about the harmful effects it has on our whole body. So, fasten your seat belts as we take you on a tour of how smoking can have an adverse affect on the different areas of our body.
1 As you take a puff, here’s what happens
Did you know that your very first puff itself can have a huge detrimental effect on your body? The smoke emitted from the match stick and the cigarette damages the mucous lining in your nose. The heat from the cigarette affects your face and the areas around your nose and mouth. It causes your lips to darken, leads to wrinkles and causes age spots. The other reason for darkening of smokers lips is that the tar in the cigarette tends to stick to the lips, thereby staining them.
2 How it affects the insides of your mouth
With the smoke inside your mouth, the tar begins to coat the enamel of your teeth, discolouring them. The heat emitted from the smoke damages the cells in and around the mouth, sometimes leading to mutations. The tar and other chemicals affect all parts of the oral cavity. These chemicals also coat the tongue, palate and the insides of the cheeks. It deadens the taste buds and leads to lack of saliva in the mouth, which is why smokers need a drink of water after a puff.
The chemicals coat the roof of the mouth, leading to a condition known as the “Smoker’s palate” wherein the roof the mouth is coated with a whitish residue with small red spots protruding from it. Smoking kills the good bacteria in the mouth, causing bad breath and a condition called thrush. It causes gum diseases, discolours the gums, and causes cavities and oral cancer. It also affects your ability to smell.
As you inhale the smoke, it affects the mucosal lining of your throat, eventually rendering it useless. It causes excessive dryness and irritation in your throat. In fact one of the common complaints a smoker has is of an itchy feeling in the back of his throat.
Did you know that smoking causes a change in your voice? It leads to hoarseness which is why smokers tend to clear their throats often. It can also cause throat cancer.
3 What happens when it enters the trachea or wind pipe
Smoking can lead to a condition called the smoker’s cough due to the itching in the trachea. It can lead to laryngitis (Infection of the larynx).
4 How it affects the oesophagus
Yes, you read it right! Smoking affects your food pipe as well. The chemicals and heat from the smoke affect the oesophageal sphincter muscle making it weak and thereby causes GERD (Gastro oesophageal reflux disease), acidity, ulcers and other stomach ailments.
5 What it does to the Respiratory System
This part is the most severely affected one. Smoking attacks the cleaning mechanism of the respiratory system. It causes an increase in the amount of mucous produced, causing smoker’s cough. It can also cause a condition called emphysema, commonly seen in long term smokers. Smoking leads to build up of tar within the bronchioles. Along with thickened walls it leads to breathlessness, wheezing, fatigue and dizziness.
The smoke emitted from a cigarette contains carbon monoxide, which is a lethal gas. Inhaling too much of this gas can kill you. It causes decay in the full body, right from the mouth to brain, kidneys, liver, digestive system and blood.
6 What happens when you exhale
As you exhale, the entire process is repeated. The chemical deposited in the airways is doubled. It causes cardiovascular problems due to plaque formation, constriction of blood vessels leading to vascular disorders. It leads to loss in bone density causing health issues like osteoarthritis, loss of teeth and joint pains.
The skin can also get affected by smoking. It can cause wrinkles, oedema and stains in your fingers and nails.
Now, isn’t this a huge list of problems you could get into if the deadly puff of nicotine fascinates you? For a minutes delight, your entire life could turn into a fright. So, do yourself and those around you a favour, will you? Your life is precious and so is everyone else’s. While there is still time, try to kick the habit before it stabs you in your back.