8 Health Complications Caused by Smoking
The list of health complications caused by smoking is undoubtedly long. Smoking causes disease and impairment and harms nearly all of the body's organs. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are all diseases caused by smoking. Smoking also raises the chance of tuberculosis, some eye illnesses, and immune system problems. Adults that are exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk for stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease. Sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disorders, severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slower lung growth are all risks for children who are exposed to secondhand smoking91.
In this article, we are narrowing this endless list to eight health complications caused by smoking:
1 - Blood Pressure
Smoking has a variety of impacts on blood pressure (BP). Through sympathetic nerve activation, smoking just one cigarette raises blood pressure abruptly and transiently. In one study, the average transitory increase in systolic blood pressure following the first cigarette was around 20mmHg. Nicotine has a half-life of about 2 hours after smoking. 33 As a result, if you keep smoking, your blood pressure will stay high92.
2 - Coronary Heart Disease Caused by Smoking
According to research, coronary heart disease risk was higher at all levels of cigarette smoking, even in people who smoked fewer than five cigarettes per day. Regardless of the actual number of cigarettes smoked per day, prospective mortality studies revealed a clear rise in Coronary Heart Disease mortality with an increase in the number of cigarettes smoked per day93.
3 - Gum and Periodontal Disease Caused by Smoking
Gingivitis and chronic periodontitis are the most frequent symptoms of periodontal disease, which is a diverse set of illnesses affecting the periodontium. Adults with chronic periodontitis have a frequent form of tooth decay called periodontitis. Untreated periodontitis leads to tooth loss, mastication problems, poor aesthetics, and negative impacts on overall health, quality of life, and economic productivity. The formation of a favorable environment for periodontal pathogens inside the oral cavity has been demonstrated to impair dental health by speeding up periodontal disease's onset, severity, and progression. As a result, tobacco use, particularly as an inhalant, is the most prominent, preventable risk factor in the global prevalence and progression of periodontal diseases94.
4 - Skin Deterioration Caused by Smoking
Poor wound healing, wrinkling and accelerated skin aging, squamous cell carcinoma, psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa, hair loss, oral malignancies, and other oral disorders are all linked to smoking. It also affects the skin lesions associated with diabetes, lupus, and AIDS95.
5 - Cancer Caused by Smoking
Tobacco usage is a significant cause of cancer and cancer-related mortality. Because tobacco products and secondhand smoke contain several chemicals that harm DNA, people who use tobacco products or are routinely exposed to ambient cigarette smoke have a higher risk of cancer. Tobacco use causes lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, mouth cancer, esophageal cancer, throat cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, pancreas cancer, colon and rectum cancer, and cervical cancer, as well as acute myeloid leukemia96.
6 - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Caused by Smoking
Persistent obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a gradual airflow obstruction and lung parenchyma damage caused by chronic environmental exposure of genetically susceptible individuals. Tobacco smoking has been linked to the development of COPD since the 1950s; smoking has been confirmed as a causal risk factor by different studies97.
7 - Diabetes Caused by Smoking
Smoking raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Greater insulin resistance, impaired beta-cell function and insulin secretion, chronic low-grade inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and indirect interactions with other factors known to aggravate diabetes and lifestyle factors are among the pathophysiological mechanisms by which smoking causes glucose intolerance and worsens clinical outcomes in diabetic individuals98.
8 - Eye Diseases Caused by Smoking
The development of eye illnesses such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Graves' ophthalmopathy, diabetic retinopathy, and dry-eye syndrome has been linked to smoking. In addition, heavy smokers have a higher risk of glaucoma than those who smoke lightly or moderately99.
In conclusion, it is noteworthy to mention that the above 8 health complications caused by smoking are just illustrative rather than a comprehensive list. Smoking dramatically impacts overall health and leads to countless diseases that can be prevented should smokers commit to quitting the habit of smoking. Nicotine replacement therapies, as well as guided counseling, could potentially yield positive and influential effects on the journey to quit.
Also, read to know about the benefits of quitting smoking, here.
Our aim at Nicorette is to help you quit smoking for good. Find more blogs from our medical professionals and understand why you should embrace your smoke-free journey with us.
- 91 https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/health_effects/index.htm
- 92 Kondo, T., Nakano, Y., Adachi, S., & Murohara, T. (2019). Effects of tobacco smoking on cardiovascular disease. Circulation Journal, 83(10), 1980-1985.
- 93 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53012
- 94 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6519089
- 95 Freiman, A., Bird, G., Metelitsa, A. I., Barankin, B., & Lauzon, G. J. (2004). Cutaneous effects of smoking. Journal of cutaneous medicine and surgery, 8(6), 415-423.
- 96 https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco#:~:text=Tobacco%20use%20causes%20many%20types,well%20as%20acute%20myeloid%20leukemia
- 97 Salvi, S. S., & Barnes, P. J. (2009). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in non-smokers. The lancet, 374(9691), 733-743.
- 98 Fagard, R. H., & Nilsson, P. M. (2009). Smoking and diabetes—the double health hazard! Primary care diabetes, 3(4), 205-209.
- 99 Law, S. M., Lu, X., Yu, F., Tseng, V., Law, S. K., & Coleman, A. L. (2018). Cigarette smoking and glaucoma in the United States population. Eye, 32(4), 716-725.
10 Tips to Stop Smoking
We understand that quitting smoking is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face. These tips will help keep you motivated and on track.