The diseases caused by smoking aren't pretty. Smoking kills up to 50% of the people who use cigarettes. It even causes diseases in those exposed to second-hand smoke. If you're a smoker and want to quit, maybe understanding the diseases caused by cigarettes can help you do it.
- Coronary heart disease: Smoking is a prevalent cause of heart disease. It causes the arteries to build up with plaque, a substance that clogs up the arteries. Heart diseases also include peripheral arterial disease, aneurysms of the aorta and other cardiovascular conditions. These conditions can lead to heart attack and stroke. This is the most preventable disease caused by smoking.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Like heart disease, the chances of getting COPD can be greatly reduced by simply not smoking. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is caused when the lungs cannot get enough air due to the formation of large amounts of mucous. This mucous blocks the tiny air sacs in the lungs and prevents them from reaching their full capacity. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are conditions associated with lung cancer. Unfortunately, once you have COPD, it only gets worse. Changing your diet, utilizing exercise and using medical treatments can help slow down the disease’s progress. However, If you love the feeling of wheezing in the morning or fainting from the lack of oxygen, keep puffing.
- Osteoporosis: This disease affects the bones. You may have noticed this condition in the elderly. However, bone damage and diseases can affect everyone. Smoking increases this type of disease. If you aren’t careful, you may end up with brittle bones that break very easily. It’s not just the little old ladies with white hair who have this problem.
- Esophageal cancer: A disease caused by smoking that affects the tube leading from your throat to your stomach is called esophageal cancer. The disease may affect the cells located in the esophageal lining or within the cells that produce mucous. Like most cancers and diseases, this one can spread to other parts of your body. The effects of cancer include difficulty in eating and drinking. You essentially begin losing weight because of these factors. Bleeding and severe pain can occur as well. Esophageal cancer seems like the worst disease you can get from smoking.
- Bladder cancer: Smoking cigarettes can cause problems with your ability to urinate. The frequent urge to urinate, painful urination and bloody urine are common symptoms of this disease. The harmful chemicals found in cigarettes are said to be main contributors in this type of problem. Nicotine is the mentally addicting aspect of smoking, while the chemicals cause the most physical damage.
Although all of these diseases can be caused by other factors, smoking increases the risks. If you quit smoking, you reduce your health risk for these diseases and others.