Smoking obviously damages your lungs, but it also harms many other parts of your body like your teeth, gums and heart. While it is your choice to smoke or not, those around you are unnecessarily exposed to secondhand smoke (which has its own negative medical implications).
- According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 440,000 people die every year from a smoking related illness, and 3,000 of those deaths are the result of second hand smoke.
- Ninety percent of lung cancer patients develop the disease as a result of smoking.
- Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer for both genders.
- Lung cancer is the most preventable type of cancer.
The human mouth works as a stable, self-contained system. Smoking interferes with the normal chain of healthy bacteria in the mouth. A chain of events occurs in a smoker's mouth, starting with gum irritation and swelling, called gingivitis, and potentially progressing to periodontitis, which is bone loss around the teeth.
Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease because it enhances plaque build-up inside the coronary arteries. Couple that fact with high blood pressure, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle or diabetes, and the risk of suffering a heart attack dramatically increases.
Other Health Concerns
Being exposed to toxins in cigarettes, specifically nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, can cause a plethora of illnesses. Smokers have a higher risk of developing other cancers, including bladder, pancreas, stomach, oral, ovarian and more. Smoking often causes chronic respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema.
The solution is simple: quit smoking. No one ever said it would be easy, but with proper support from those around you, in partnership with your primary care physician, you can do it.