Smoking: Its effects on the body

You don’t have to have been smoking for a long time for tobacco to affect the way you look…

  • SKIN
    The poisons in tobacco reduce the amount of oxygen getting to the skin. This makes it look grey and dull, and can also cause cellulite to build up.
  • TEETH AND TONGUE
    Tobacco stain teeth yellow and can make breath very smelly because of bacteria that collects on the tongue, It also causes problems with the gums, resulting in rotten teeth or even tooth loss.
  • MOUTH AND EYES
    Smoking makes a person look old because it causes the skin around the mouth and eyes to wrinkle. It can also increase the risk of developing vision problems such as macular degeneration.
  • FINGERS
    Just like the teeth, tobacco stains fingers and nails as well as making them smell.

Tobacco affects nearly every part of the body, damaging some of our most important organs.

  • BRAIN
    Smokers are more likely to have a stroke than someone who doesn’t smoke, This can cause brain damage or death.
  • MOUTH AND THROAT
    There is an increased risk of cancer of the lips, tongue, throat, and voice box.
  • HEART
    Carbon monoxide from smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. Nicotine also makes the heart work faster, increasing the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
  • CIRCULATION
    When toxins from tobacco enter the bloodstream, it reduces the amount of oxygen getting to the organs. This can increase the chance of blood clots.
  • LUNGS
    Smoking can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD) which is the name for a collection of different lung conditions such as bronchitis and emphysema, This results in symptoms such as breathlessness and persistent cough. Smoking can also cause lung cancer.
  • STOMACH
    Smoking weakens the muscles in the stomach so acid and other stomach contents can travel back up the oesophagus known as reflux. Smoking can also cause painful stomach ulcers.
  • EXERCISING
    If you smoke or you’re around other people who ore smoking (known as second-hand smoke) our lung capacity decreases so you may find it more difficult to breathe during exercise. When carbon monoxide from tobacco enters the bloodstream less oxygen reaches the muscles which are vital for exercising.
  • EFFECTS OF NICOTINE
    If you smoke a cigarette or use another tobacco product, the nicotine in tobacco reaches your brain in around ten seconds. The first ‘hit’ of nicotine will make you feel relaxed and reduces levels of stress. This is why so many people use smoking to cope with demanding situations. This response is only temporary os regular smoking changes the way the brain responds to nicotine. As soon as you stop smoking, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. When you start smoking again, the withdrawal symptoms reduce and you become addicted to smoking.

    Nicotine in tobacco makes the brain release a chemical called dopamine, which makes us feel happy. People with depression have low amounts of dopamine, so they feel the need to smoke to increase the levels in their body. It is because of this that people with mental health problems have higher dependency on smoking and find it very difficult to quit. It is very common for people with mental health problems such as depression or schizophrenia to smoke.

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