Whenever you buy a pack of cigarettes, I am sure that you get to read the government warning label. Can’t remember what that is? The government warning label is the sentence that says, “Cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health.” So what are the dangers of smoking?
Cancer is a danger of smoking. Because of the known carcinogens and mutagens found in cigarettes and tobacco products, it is not a mystery how smoking causes cancer. Cancers of the oral cavity, laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer are just some examples. In the United States, 87% of lung cancer cases are linked to smoking. Lung cancer risk of secondhand smokers is increased by 20 to 30%.
Another danger of smoking is its effects on the heart. Because nicotine causes narrowing of the blood vessels which leads to blockage, smokers are 5 times more at risk of suffering a heart attack. And nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke have increased risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30%. Other diseases include stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and atherosclerosis.
The immune system is also harmed by smoking. The risk of acquiring various infections like common colds, invasive pneumococcal disease, chronic bronchitis, and other pulmonary and respiratory infections is increased by smoking. If a smoker consumes 20 or more cigarettes a day, acquiring tuberculosis is increased by 2 to 4 times.
Another danger of smoking is the likelihood of a miscarriage. It is discouraged for pregnant women to smoke because it deprives oxygen for the fetus. Smoking while pregnant can cause the infant to be born with low birth weight and small for gestational age. These could lead to more infant diseases like jaundice and breathing difficulty. Sudden infant death syndrome has also been linked to smoking while pregnant.
Other dangers of smoking are the development of diseases such as chronic pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma, allergies, and many others.
All these dangers of smoking cause death. A smoker’s life expectancy is reduced by 2.5 to 10 years. And for each consumed cigarette, a smoker loses 11 minutes of his life! These facts are what made smoking as the second major cause of death worldwide.
What are you waiting for? Quit smoking now! Quit before it is too late!