The damage that smoking can do to your body is truly immense. With the plethora of toxic chemicals present in every cigarette that you smoke, smoking regularly can very well be compared to living in a continual acid rain downpour (however mild it might be). How do you think that would affect your physical well being? The chemicals that you inhale in the form of cigarette smoke do play havoc inside your body, and smoking has been known to cause a variety of health problems.
It is not just you who is at risk because of smoking, but those around you as well. Inhaling second-hand smoke is known to be just as dangerous, and your smoking, therefore, also exposes your family and friends to the medical complications that arise due to smoking. For example, instances of children suffering from breathing related problems, in a house where both parents smoke, are fairly common.
The medical complications that can arise because you smoke include:
Your chances of getting a heart attack increase considerably if you continue to smoke, and there really isn’t any safe number of cigarettes that you can smoke every day. However, the more you smoke, the greater are your chances of having heart related problems.
Cigarette smoking is a very big factor when it comes to Coronary Heart Disease, and as a smoker, your chances of having a heart attack increase two or three times. If you also have high blood pressure or increased cholesterol levels, then the possibility increases even further. Around 80% of the heart attacks that occur in men under the age of 45 occur in men who smoke. ifog
Once you inhale the smoke from a cigarette, the heart and the blood vessels surrounding it have several immediate reactions. After a minute of your starting to smoke there is a rise in the heart rate, and it can increase by up to 30% within the first ten minutes. Blood pressure also rises when you smoke, and the constriction of blood vessels forces your heart to exert more energy in transporting oxygen. At the same time, the carbon monoxide present in cigarette smoke reduces the ability of the blood to transport oxygen.
You, as a smoker, also have 5 times more chances of developing abdominal aortic aneurysms as compared to non-smokers.
Smoking has a considerable effect on the arteries that supply blood to the brain, and causes the arteries as well as other tissues to harden, thereby putting you at an increased risk of getting a stroke. Data shows that smokers are more likely to develop strokes (cerebral thrombosis) when compared to non-smokers; with women who are on contraceptive pills facing increased risks.
If you are a man, and if you are under the impression that smoking could make you more of a man, then do know that the reverse can actually be true. Clinical tests connecting smoking and erectile dysfunction have been conducted for some time now, and recent reports show that incidences of impotence are close to double in smokers.
Nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor, which simply means that it constricts the blood vessels and arteries, thereby impeding the flow of blood in your body. Since the basis of an erection is blood filling up the penis’ blood vessels, the impediment in blood flow results in an unsatisfactory erection, or in the complete absence of one.
Nicotine use can also cause your testosterone levels to drop, and since testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, this drop in testosterone levels could adversely affect your sex drive.