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Smokers Beware: Smoking Can Put You At A Higher Risk For These Conditions

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Smoking can wreak havoc on a healthy body in a matter of just a few months. Daily smoking puts you at higher risk for dozens of conditions and makes it harder for your body to fight off infection and disease. A single cigarette can contain anywhere from 3-7,000 chemicals and additives, and the unfortunate truth is that about 70 of these toxins are known carcinogens.

Why would cigarette companies put toxins in their product? The toxins actually come from the chemical pesticides and fertilizers used by farmers on tobacco crops. Thousands of gallons can be used on a single crop to keep away pests and ensure maximum yield; while also ensuring that the crop is laced with harmful toxins like arsenic, ammonia, and even uranium.

If you’re a smoker, you might want to pay close attention to the following information. These conditions’ risk factor doubles or triples for smokers.

Heart Disease

Smoking sends the heart into overdrive. Not only will it boost your blood pressure to dangerous levels, but it’s also filling your bloodstream with those awful chemicals we talked about. Among these is carbon monoxide gas. Yes, that’s the same thing your smoke alarm is designed to detect in a house fire or gas leak. Each time you smoke, you’re increasing the level of CO in your bloodstream.

Carbon monoxide interferes with hemoglobin, which is located in red blood cells and helps facilitate the gas exchange in the lungs. The red blood cells transport precious oxygen throughout the body and return with carbon dioxide as a waste product (not to be mistaken for monoxide (CO)).

 Smoking actually increases hemoglobin and red blood cell count. Tissue hypoxia (lack of oxygen) signals the body to produce more red blood cells to carry oxygen, because the body doesn’t understand why there’s a lack of oxygen suddenly. In response, more red blood cells are created, but oxygen still isn’t being circulated effectively because of the smoking habit’s ability to inhibit the function of red blood cells.

This increases the risk of blood clots and blockages and can increase blood pressure, which damages cardiac tissue and blood vessel walls.

Stroke

Smoking can increase your risk for stroke by up to six times depending on how often and how much you smoke. Just one to three cigarettes per day nearly doubles your risk. This is because smoking causes platelets to stick together and can increase blood pressure.

A stroke occurs when there’s a blockage in a blood vessel or the vessel itself bursts. High blood pressure damages blood vessels and can cause ruptures. Since cigarettes contain high amounts of nicotine, each time you smoke, you’re increasing your blood pressure. The heart works harder, but with compromised red blood cells and high levels of carbon monoxide in your blood, your body is working against itself.

A stroke can damage vital organs or the brain. When the brain doesn’t receive the oxygen it needs via the blood vessels, the impact can be devastating. Some effects include:

  • Paralysis on either side of the body
  • Speech problems
  • Memory loss
  • Vision problems
  • Decreased motor function

This doesn’t sound like a very bright future, does it? By giving up cigarettes for good, you can reduce your risk factor for stroke or heart disease. With alternative products like tobacco free chew, nicotine gum, nicotine patches, and more, the cessation process is easier than ever. Quit smoking today to massively reduce your risk for these devastating health complications!

Lung Cancer

Breathing in 7,000+ chemicals is pretty much guaranteed to cause cell mutations. Cancer occurs when old cells don’t die, but instead, grow abnormally. And you guessed it; smoking increases your risk for developing cancer (especially lung cancer) because of all the chemicals and toxins interfering with the body’s normal function(s).

Lung cancer can be devastating for the body. Even if the tumor is successfully removed, there’s a good chance you’ll suffer permanent damage from cancer and the operation itself, impairing your future ability to breathe properly. This could mean you’ll be on oxygen treatments the rest of your life, or unable to walk or run for any period of time.

With every cigarette, you’re increasing your risk tenfold by continuously damaging the cells in your lungs. These cells struggle to repair themselves when they’re under constant assault from cigarette smoke. The bottom line? You are putting your very life at risk every time you smoke. Now, the real question begs an answer: is it truly worth your life?

Final Thoughts

We’ve only covered a small number of health conditions that smoking can cause. Smoking is inherently dangerous and destructive; there’s simply no way around it. The only way to reduce your risk for developing heart disease, lung cancer, and more is to put the cigarettes down for good. Your body will thank you with good health and you’ll experience a much happier life with your health intact.

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