Risks of Smoking

non-smokingCardiovascular disease is the main cause of death due to smoking. Atherosclerosis is the term used to describe the clogging up of arteries with fatty material, leaving them narrow and blocked. It can occure in many ways depending on the affected blood vessels. Coronary thrombosis is a blood clot in the arteries that supply the heart. Approximately 30% of such cases are caused by smoking.

Nine out of ten people who require a heart bypass operation are smokers or ex-smokers. When the vessels to the brain are blocked this may lead to collapse, stroke and paralysis. If the kidney arteries are affected, high blood pressure or kidney failure may result from this. Blockage in the vascular supply of the legs may lead to gangrene and amputation.

Giving up smoking not only reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, but also the risk of many other serious illnesses, like cancer and emphysema. No matter how old you are, it is never too late to stop. As soon as you do, your health will improve immediately. This is a noticeable fact. Studies show that, after several years of giving up, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is almost the same as for someone who has never smoked.

Why is smoking so unhealthy?

Cigarettes have numerous poisons, including addictive nicotine, carbon monoxide, “tars,” and hydrogen cyanide. There are 4,000 other chemicals of varying toxicity, including 43 known carcinogens.
A person’s risk of cardiovascular disease greatly increases with the number of cigarettes he or she smokes. Smokers continue to increase their risk of heart attack the longer they smoke. People who smoke a pack a day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than non-smokers. Women who smoke and take birth control pills as well, increase several times their risk of heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.

Cigarette smoke does not just affect smokers. When you smoke, the people around you are also at risk for developing health problems, especially children. Environmental tobacco smoke (also called passive smoke or second-hand smoke) affects people who are frequently around smokers. Second-hand smoke can cause chronic respiratory conditions, cancer and heart disease.

There is no one way to quit that works for everyone. To quit smoking, you must be ready emotionally and mentally. You must also want to quit smoking for yourself, and not to please your friends or family. Though do not be too proud to ask people in your surrounding for assistance.

It's your life! Plan ahead!