Did you know that in India, 10.7% of adults smoke? More than 1.2 million people in India lose their lives yearly due to the harmful side-effects of directly smoking bidis and cigarettes or exposure to second-hand smoke.
Smoking is injurious to health and can cause long-term harmful effects on the body. It is common knowledge that cigarette smoking can make human lungs lose their respiratory capacity over time. However, that is just the basic knowledge that has been popularised, but you would be surprised to know that smoking can cause severely different side effects for males and females.
The popularised ‘Sutta Culture’ in Indian society has been pushing the youth of this nation towards the brink of self-destruction. Just to be included by the people or to be accepted by their colleagues, the office-going Indians are starting to light up cigarettes every now and then. Once they start to smoke, it is a well-known fact that smoking becomes addictive over time.
Why it’s hard to Stop Smoking?
Nicotine is a substance that produces enough dopamine for the brain’s reward circuits. It also races the heart and blood pressure to make people experience a bit of an adrenaline rush. Nicotine creates an effect like drugs on humans, making it hard for people to stop smoking even when they want to. This leads to side effects that make people suffer throughout their lives.
10 Harmful Side-Effects of Smoking
1- Reproductive effects on Females
Women who smoke on a regular basis can experience menopause at an early age and are also likely to have trouble getting pregnant. Smoking lowers the estrogen levels of females, leading to mood swings, vaginal dryness and fatigue. Females may experience irregular and painful periods as well.
2- Side Effects for Newborn
Smoking can cause a variety of side effects for a newborn if the mother of the child has a history of being addicted to smoking cigarettes and bidis. These effects include:
- Greater risk of premature birth
- Having birth defects
- Being underweight at the time of birth
- Reduced brain functionality
It is common knowledge that people who smoke are at a greater risk of developing life-threatening cancer. Men and women both are equally vulnerable to different types of cancers. Lung cancer is the most common among smokers. Surprisingly, more women die from lung cancer every year than breast cancer.
4- Respiratory Problems
It is advised on the tobacco products themselves that they can cause respiratory problems by damaging your lungs. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), an incurable illness that makes it hard for people to breathe, is commonly caused by smoking. Some people may become asthmatic as well.
5- Heart and Blood Circulation Diseases
Smokers are likely to develop cardiovascular problems. Smoking increases the blood clots in the human body, which can affect blood circulation and lead to heart attacks. It can also stop the blood circulation in the brain, causing a deadly stroke. Some smokers have to amputate a few body parts due to stopped blood flow.
6- Type-2 Diabetes
You would be surprised to know that smoking is heavily related to type-2 diabetes. People addicted to smoking are more likely to be at risk of developing diabetes than those who do not smoke. Smoking can have side effects on diseases associated with type-1 diabetes as well.
7- Eye-sight Problems
Smokers can suffer from macular degeneration, which can lead to loss of vision in the centre of their field. It is a permanent side effect which can never be cured. It happens because smoking can damage the nerves attached to the eyes of people. One can even go completely blind in some severe cases.
8- Prone to Infections and Viral Diseases
Smokers are prone to infections and viral diseases like coronavirus, seasonal flu and more. Smoking reduces the capacity of the immune system of the human body, which makes people vulnerable to common diseases. One can even get severely ill if the smoke has damaged all immune system components.
9- Hearing Difficulties
Hearing difficulties and complete hearing loss can occur in people who are addicted to smoking. The inner ear starts to receive lesser blood flow when people start to smoke on a regular basis. Ultimately it can do irreparable damage to the ears.
10- Erectile Dysfunction
Smoking can also reduce the reproductive capacities of males and their ability to enjoy pleasure times. The constriction of blood vessels caused by smoking can result in less blood flow to the penis, leading to erection problems. One may experience severe stress and anxiety owing to this problem.
How to Quit Smoking and Avoid the Harmful Side Effects?
Quitting smoking is a challenging and tedious task that only those who have found a solid reason and willpower can follow. One can enjoy a long and healthy life after giving up on smoking. Here are a few tips which may help you quit smoking:
- Search for the goal for which you want to quit smoking. It can be anything for anyone. For example, a married person may try to give up on smoking after thinking about the future of his/her kids.
- Form the willpower and determination to stick to your goal. Remind yourself why you are trying to give up smoking whenever you feel that you are going to relapse.
- Use nicotine therapy and talk to your loved ones on a regular basis.
Also Read: Top 5 Healthy Fruits that are Rich in Nutrition and Act as Immunity Boosters
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