Effects of Tobacco on your Health

effects of tobacco Tobacco use kills nearly six million people worldwide each year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, globally, there were 100 million premature deaths due to tobacco in the 20th century, and if the current trends of tobacco use continue, this number is expected to rise to 1 billion in the 21st century.

Adolescents and children are the prime targets of the tobacco industry. About 20 million children of ages 10–14 are estimated to be tobacco-addicted according to a survey done by the National Sample Survey Organization of the Indian Government. To this astounding figure, about 5500 new users are added every day, making two million new users every year. Adolescents typically become addicted to nicotine while still being teenagers.

Effects of Tobacco

Tobacco use is a potent risk factor for many human diseases and conditions including oral cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and it has a major deleterious effect on population health. Tobacco is deadly in any form or disguise.

Quality of Life:
  • Poor health, in general, curtails quality of life by preventing a smoker from enjoying most forms of physical activities and recreation.
  • Increased risks of various cancers including that of urinary bladder, kidney, and pancreas. Huge medical bills are the added cost.
  • Poor blood circulation in legs, caused by smoking, can cause pain, ulcers, and even gangrene – that may require amputation.
Respiratory system:
  • Smoking causes a lot of coughing with phlegm (mucous)
  • Smokers have trouble breathing because smoking damages the lungs
  • Tobacco can cause emphysema (lung disease) and lung cancer
  • If you have asthma, you can have more frequent and more serious attacks
Nervous system:
  • Nicotine, the drug that makes tobacco addictive, goes to your brain very quickly
  • Nicotine makes you feel good when you are smoking, but it can make you anxious, nervous, moody, and depressed after you smoke. Using tobacco can cause headaches and dizziness.
Smoking increases your heart rate and blood pressure and causes heart disease and heart attacks.

  • Smoking causes dry, yellow skin and wrinkles. The smell sticks to your skin
  • Your fingernails and the skin on your fingers may have yellow staining from holding cigarettes. Hair holds on to the smell of tobacco long after you put your cigarette out. It even clings to nonsmokers.
  • It stains your teeth and gives you bad breath.
  • It ruins some of your taste buds, so you won’t be able to taste your favorite foods as well.
  • It causes bleeding gums (gum disease) and cancers of the mouth and throat.
Reproductive system:
  • Restricted blood flow can affect a man’s ability to get an erection. Both men and women who smoke may have difficulty achieving orgasm and are at higher risk of infertility.
  • Women who smoke may experience menopause at an earlier age than non-smoking women. Smoking increases a woman’s risk of cervical cancer.
  • Smokers experience more complications of pregnancy, including miscarriage, problems with the placenta, and premature delivery.

Preventive Approaches

It includes spreading awareness about the actual hazards of tobacco in the community especially among the vulnerable children and adolescents, curbs on advertisement and promotional campaigns, early identification of the users and providing treatment. See this article on how to quit smoking.