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5 reasons you need to stop smoking today

Dr. Lala .A.

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How does smoking affect my heart and blood vessels?
The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells and damage the function of your heart. This damage increases your risk for;
1. Atherosclerosis: a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up in your arteries
2. Aneurysms: which are bulging blood vessels that can burst and cause death
3. Coronary heart disease (CHD), narrow or blocked arteries around the heart
4. Heart attack and damage to your arteries
5. Heart-related chest pain
6. High blood pressure

7. Coronary Heart disease: A condition in which platelets (components of the blood that prevents excessive bleeding) stick together along with proteins to form clots which can then get stuck in the plaque in the walls of arteries and cause heart attacks
8. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD): a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs, and limbs.
9.Stroke: which is sudden death of brain cells caused by blood clots or bleeding. Smoking increases the risk for stroke by 2-4 times.

 

 
How does smoking affect my lungs and breathing?
Every cigarette you smoke damages your breathing and scars your lungs. Smoking causes;
1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a disease that gets worse over time and causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. About 80% of deaths from COPD are caused by smoking.
2. Emphysema: a condition in which the walls between the air sacs in your lungs lose their ability to stretch and shrink back. Your lung tissue is destroyed, making it difficult or impossible to breathe.
3. Chronic bronchitis: which causes swelling of the lining of your bronchial tubes. When this happens, less air flows to and from your lungs.
4. Pneumonia
5. Asthma. Also, people with asthma can suffer severe attacks when around cigarette smoke.
6. Tuberculosis

 

 
How does smoking affect my vision?
Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. It results in the following;
1. Age-related macular degeneration (damage to a small part close to the retina involved in vision)
2. Cataract (clouding of the eye lens that makes it difficult for you to see),
3. Optic nerve damage
All of the above can lead to blindness.

 

 
How does smoking affect my bones?
Smoking reduces the density of the bones.
Smoking increases your risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which bones weaken and become more likely to fracture.

 

 
How does smoking affect my teeth?
Smoking can cause tooth loss. It can also cause gum problems.
How does smoking cause infertility and birth problems?
Smoking can make it harder for a woman to become pregnant and can affect her baby’s health before and after birth. Smoking increases risks for;
-Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb)
-Preterm (early) delivery
-Stillbirth (death of the baby before birth)
-Low birth weight
-Sudden infant death syndrome (known as SIDS or crib death)
Smoking can also affect men’s sperm, which can reduce fertility and also increase risks for birth defects and miscarriage.

 
How does smoking cause cancer?
Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body.
Smoking also increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors.
If nobody smoked, one of every three cancer deaths would not happen.
Smoking and auto immune diseases
The immune system is the body’s way of protecting itself from infection and disease. Smoking compromises the immune system, making smokers more susceptible to infections.
Smoking doubles your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking has recently been linked to type 2 diabetes.

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Dr. Lala .A. is a graduate of University of Ilorin who also holds a Diploma in Computer Engineering. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who aspires to be a plastic surgeon involved in creating awareness about women's rights and responsibilities and also training would be surgeons. She is a proud member of various reputable bodies including the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI). She loves to read, write, sleep and play the drums in her spare time.