Major Diseases Caused by Smoking Cigarettes

Smoking is an extremely bad habit. This habit not just affects the person who is smoking but also impacts the people nearby. Hence active smoking and passive smoking are both harmful. Today tobacco use is considered the leading reason for a number of cancers, predominantly oral cancer and lung cancer. Cancer due to smoking is more prevalent in men however the effects of smoking are more adverse on women. Following are few of the diseases that are said to be caused due to smoking :

  • Cancer- Carcinomaof the lung, throat, mouth, tongue, nose, nasal sinus, voice box, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach, liver, kidney, bladder, ureter, bowel, ovary, cervix, and bone marrow (myeloid leukaemia).
  • Heart Disease – Around 30% of all cases of heart disease in those under 65 years are due to smoking. This estimate is increasing due to the rising cases of heart disease.
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – It includes emphysema and small airways disease. Emphysema is rare in non-smokers.
  • Chronic Bronchitis – It is a recurring cough together with frequent and increased phlegm. It occurs in about half of all heavy smokers.
  • Stroke  – Smokers under 65 years are around three times more likely to have a stroke than non-smokers of the same age.
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease – It is the narrowing of the leg arteries that can lead to blockage and, in some cases, amputation. Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for this disease.
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) – Itis the bursting of the lower part of the aorta leading from the heart. It often leads to sudden death. Cigarette smoking is the main preventable risk factor for this disease.
  • Type 2 Diabetes  – This is caused and aggravated by smoking. Due to smoking the future risk to develop Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes also increases.
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease – It is found in people who are Helicobater pylori 
  • Eye Diseases – Smoking can cause an increase in eye diseases and complications such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Lower fertility in women – Smoking affects the fertility rate of the women. This especially affects women that are above 30 yrs.
  • Low Bone Density – Smoking affects the bone healthin older women and can also be held responsible for hip fractures in both sexes.
  • Periodontitis  – It can be defined as a dental disease that affects the gum and bone that supports the teeth. Smoking causes the loosening of the teeth and the discoloration of the gums.
  • Respiratory symptoms – Smoking can cause a gamut of respiratory issuesincluding shortness of breath, coughing, phlegm and wheezing. These symptoms occur in both child and adult smokers.
  • Faster decline in lung function – This is a function which is measured by how much air you can breathe out during a forced breath. All adults lose lung function as they age but this process occurs earlier and faster among smokers.
  • Impaired lung growth- This effect is usually seen in children that are afcetd by passive smoking. This is also seen in adolescent smokers and is characterized with early onset of lung function decline in late adolescence and early adulthood.
  • Problems during pregnancy and childbirth- It including restricted foetal growth and low birth weight, ectopic pregnancy, complications that can lead to bleeding in pregnancy and the need for caesarean section delivery, and shortened time in the womb and preterm delivery (the baby is carried for less than 37 weeks). Smoking during pregnancy also causes death in early infancy (particularly from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), reduced lung function in childhood, and oral clefts (e.g. harelip) in infants.
  • Erectile dysfunction – Men who smoke increase their risk of impotence, and may have reduced semen volume, sperm count and sperm quality.
  • Tuberculosis – It is a leading diseases caused due to smoking . This disease is also related to social stigma and can cause death.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – Since smoking affects the bone health, it can also cause autoimmune reactions in the body such as reactive and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Worsening Asthma – Smokers with asthma have poorer asthma control, faster decline in lung function, more airway inflammation, and get less benefit from some asthma medications, compared to non-smokers with asthma.

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