What Are 11 Bad Things About Smoking?

Medically Reviewed on 3/23/2022

11 harmful effects of smoking

What are 11 bad things about smoking
Smoking is harmful to one’s health and may pose the following eleven negative side effects.

Smoking harms a person's health, financial well-being, personal life, and the health of those around them. According to surveys and clinical investigations, smoking cigarettes poses several health concerns to humans.

Eleven negative side effects of smoking include:

  1. Cancer:
    • Tobacco use is one of the primary causes of mortality due to lung cancer worldwide. Carcinogenic particles in smoke increase smokers' chance of getting malignancies of the:
      • Lungs
      • Head and neck
      • Bladder
      • Pancreas
      • Kidney
      • Uterus
      • Cervix
  2. Autoimmune disorders:
    • Smoking weakens the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections and illnesses. As a result, smokers are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses.
    • It causes various autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. It increases flare-ups in autoimmune diseases.
  3. Type II diabetes:
    • Clinical data indicate a relationship between type II diabetes and smoking. According to findings, smokers are 30 to 40 percent more likely than nonsmokers to develop type II diabetes.
  4. Aging and skin:
    • Smoking can affect your appearance. Many smokers claim that the effect on their appearance was one of the factors that led them to quit smoking.
    • Smoking alters the structure of your skin, increasing your risk of wrinkles.
    • Smokers in their 40s may have the same number of wrinkles as nonsmokers in their sixties. These are most noticeable around your eyes and mouth. Your skin may become pale and gray as a result of smoking.
  5. Smoking and fertility:
    • Both men and women can become infertile as a result of smoking. Breathing in secondhand smoke from smokers around you may affect your ability to conceive.
    • Men who smoke are more likely to have sperm that is damaged and incapable of fertilizing an egg.
    • Men who smoke are at a higher risk of erectile dysfunction than those who don’t.
    • Women who smoke take longer than nonsmokers to become pregnant. They may experience menopause earlier than nonsmokers.
    • Smoking can affect the success of fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization.
  6. Lung diseases:
  7. Heart attack and stroke:
    • Smoking constricts blood arteries, limiting blood flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs.
    • It increases the risk of blood clots in the legs and lungs.
    • Smokers are more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke as a result of their smoking habits.
  8. Complications for pregnant women:
    • Pregnant women who smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to have difficulties during childbirth.
    • This may lead to various congenital diseases in their children.
  9. Premature deaths:
    • Because of the related health hazards, such as respiratory cancer and vascular disease, smoking causes early death.
    • The lifespan of smokers is cut by at least 10 years compared with that of nonsmokers.
    • Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than five million deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization.
  10. Health dangers of secondhand smoke:
    • Even if you are not a smoker, secondhand smoke contains hazardous metals, carcinogens, and dangerous chemicals that can harm you.
    • People who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at a high risk of the majority of the diseases and health issues linked with firsthand smoking.
  11. Air pollution due to smoking:
    • Secondhand smoke contains carbon dioxide, methane, and other unpleasant compounds, which contribute to air pollution.
    • Although methane and carbon dioxide are not fatal to smokers, they do contribute to overall air pollution.
    • Every year, smoking emits roughly 2.6 billion kilograms of CO2 and 5.2 billion kilograms of methane into the environment. This paints a clear picture of how smoking contributes to climate change on its own.
    • As previously stated, secondhand smoke creates indirect health dangers such as cancer to other people and animals.

How smoking effects mental health?

When someone smokes, nicotine enters their brain in about 10 seconds. Initially, nicotine enhances mood and focus, reduces aggression and tension, relaxes muscles, and reduces appetite.

  • Regular nicotine doses cause changes in the brain, which cause nicotine withdrawal symptoms when the supply of nicotine is depleted.
  • Smoking alleviates these withdrawal symptoms for a short time and might strengthen the habit.
  • Most smokers become nicotine dependent through this cycle.

Smoking and stress

  • Some people smoke as a form of “self-medication” to relieve stress.
  • However, studies have reported that smoking increases anxiety and tension.
  • Because nicotine produces an immediate sense of relaxation, individuals smoke in the mistaken notion that it reduces tension and anxiety.
  • This sensation is fleeting and is quickly followed by withdrawal symptoms and increasing desires.
  • Smoking alleviates withdrawal symptoms but does nothing to alleviate anxiety or address the underlying causes of such feelings.

Smoking and depression

  • Adults who are depressed are two times as likely to end up smoking. Because most people start smoking before they show signs of sadness, it's unclear if smoking causes depression or depression causes them to start smoking.
  • Nicotine causes the neurotransmitter dopamine to be released in the brain. Dopamine is involved in the elicitation of happy emotions.
  • Dopamine is frequently discovered to be low in people with depression. Such people may then turn to cigarettes to temporarily increase their dopamine supply.
  • However, smoking causes the brain to turn off its own process for producing dopamine, resulting in a decline in supply over time, prompting smokers to smoke more.
  • People with depression may have a harder time quitting smoking and experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • If you decide to quit, keep in mind that there is plenty of help available you don't have to go through it alone.

Smoking and schizophrenia

  • People with schizophrenia are three times more likely than the general population to smoke, and they tend to smoke more heavily.
  • This is most likely because people with schizophrenia use smoking to control or manage some of the symptoms of their condition and to lessen some of the negative effects of their medication.
  • According to a recent study, smoking may increase the risk of schizophrenia. However, more research is required to completely comprehend how the two are related.


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What happens when you quit smoking?

You might notice the benefits of better health sooner than you think:

  • After 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure will begin to return to normal.
  • After two to three days, your sense of smell and taste will begin to improve.
  • After 2 to 12 weeks, breathing will begin to improve, and exercise may become easier.
  • After one year, the risk of a heart attack is half compared with that of a smoker.

Quitting smoking has other benefits such as:

  • Fresher breath and whiter teeth
  • Younger-looking skin
  • More energy and less fatigue and headache
  • The immune system will find it easier to fight off colds and flu
  • Sex drive may increase, and it can improve your fertility
  • You will protect the health of your children, family, and friends

It is never too late to reap the benefits of quitting smoking. If a man quits smoking before the age of 30 years, he will live an additional 10 years. Many people will gain three years of life if they stop smoking before the age of 60 years. Being a nonsmoker can increase your chances of remaining physically active and healthy as you age.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/23/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

Health Effects: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/health_effects/index.htm#:

Health Risks of Smoking Tobacco: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/health-risks-of-tobacco/health-risks-of-smoking-tobacco.html

10 Health Effects Caused by Smoking You Didn't Know About: https://www.lung.org/research/sotc/by-the-numbers/10-health-effects-caused-by-smoking

Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet

More than 100 reasons to quit tobacco: https://www.paho.org/en/more-100-reasons-quit-tobacco