Smoking has long been known to have negative effects on your health, but many people don’t realize the long-term health risks that smoking can cause. From cancer to gum disease and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), smoking can have serious long-term effects on your body. Let’s take a closer look at some of the potential health issues you could face if you smoke cigarettes or other tobacco products.
One of the most serious, and widely known, health risks associated with smoking is cancer. Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic compounds that are linked to various types of cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smokers are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer compared to those who don’t smoke. In addition, smoking can also increase the risk of cancers in other parts of the body including the throat, mouth, pancreas, bladder, and kidney.
Smoking has been strongly linked with an increased risk of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection that causes inflammation of the gums around your teeth and it can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Gum disease can cause your gums to bleed and swell.
Smoking makes it more difficult for gum tissue to heal after dental procedures or periodontal treatments such as scaling or root planing because nicotine constricts blood vessels reducing blood flow throughout the body including in your gums. With less blood flow comes fewer nutrients which results in weakened gums that aren’t able to fight off bacteria as effectively as healthy gums would be able to.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a type of chronic lung disease caused by exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke over a prolonged period. This means that smokers are at far greater risk for developing COPD than non-smokers are; in fact, 90%of all COPD cases are due to cigarette smoking according to estimates from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, or coughing up phlegm when you breathe; these symptoms often worsen over time making it difficult for people with COPD to perform even basic everyday activities like walking or climbing stairs without becoming short of breath quickly.
While cigarettes may provide some short-term stress relief for some people, it’s important not to underestimate the health risks associated with smoking both in terms of short-term and long-term consequences. From cancer and gum disease to COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases, smoking can have serious consequences on your physical health later in life so people must understand what they’re getting into before they light up their first cigarette or take their first puff from an e-cigarette device.
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