Smoking in Men

Did you know that men who smoke raise their risk of lung cancer by more than 22 times? Did you know that smoking could affect more than just your lungs?

Not only does smoking cause lung diseases (such as lung cancer, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis), it can increase your risk for other health problems:

  • heart disease: blood flow to the heart is critically reduced
  • stroke: lack of blood flow to the brain from a blood clot, or bleeding in the brain from a broken blood vessel
  • osteoporosis: thinning or weakening of your bones
  • other cancers: such as cancer of the throat, mouth, esophagus (food pipe), pancreas, kidney, bladder, and prostate
  • impotence and infertility: problems having an erection and getting your wife or partner pregnant
  • wrinkles: damages the skin and causes wrinkling

Smoking around your wife, partner, or children can also cause serious health problems for them. They have a higher chance of developing lung cancer, asthma, allergies, ear infections, and other health problems.

Smoking around your pregnant wife or partner can also cause health problems for her and your baby. If your wife or partner smokes, it increases her chances of having a miscarriage (losing her pregnancy), stillbirth (the baby dying in her womb), infant death, premature or early birth, or having a baby with low birth weight. Smoking also affects your baby when she breast feeds. If she smokes and breast feeds, your baby is exposed to the same harmful chemicals. Heavy smoking can reduce your wife's or partner's milk supply and can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea in your baby. But health care providers agree, if she has tried to quit smoking and can't, it still is better to breast feed your baby than to give your baby formula.

'Light' cigarettes aren't safe either

You may think that "light" cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes. They're not. Light cigarettes put smokers at the same risk for smoking-related health problems as regular cigarettes. Some cigarette packs say that light cigarettes have lower tar and nicotine. Don't let these claims fool you. Tobacco companies use smoking machines to figure out the amount of tar and nicotine in the cigarettes. These machines "smoke" every brand of cigarettes the same way. However, people don't smoke cigarettes the same way machines do. People may inhale more deeply, take longer or more frequent puffs, or smoke extra cigarettes to satisfy their nicotine craving. Smokers then inhale more tar, nicotine, and other chemicals than the smoking machine measures. Another way that tobacco companies try to make light cigarettes is by putting tiny holes in the filters to dilute the smoke with air. However, many smokers block the holes with their fingers or lips, and it's the same as smoking regular cigarettes.

Quit smoking: Feel the benefits!

20 minutes after quitting:

  • Your blood pressure drops back to normal.
  • The temperature in your hands and feet increases, returning to normal.

8 hours after quitting:

  • The carbon monoxide (a gas that can be toxic) in your blood drops to normal.

24 hours after quitting:

2 days after quitting:

  • You can taste and smell things better

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting:

  • You have better circulation.
  • Your lungs are working better.

1 to 9 months after quitting:

  • Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease.
  • Your lungs start to function better, lowering your risk of lung infection.

1 year after quitting:

  • You reduce your risk for heart disease by half.

5 to 15 years after quitting:

  • Your risk of having a stroke is the same as someone who never smoked.