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Risks of Smoking

A nice cold and rainy weather and some good puffs of a cigarette. There, you lost 11 minutes of your life! How many do you smoke? Know about the different risks of smoking you may be in...
Let me first give you a quick insight on the statistics of the disasters caused due to smoking. It has been estimated that around the world, there occur around 440,000 deaths. Out of these, about 159,600 die of cancer and about 142,600, of heart related disorders. Not to forget the figure of people who die of respiratory diseases, 98,000 and about 970 people die from house fires caused due to cigarettes. If we leave all these figures behind, the most unfortunate repercussions are faced by those who have not even started living their lives, fetus and infants. About 970 of them decease every year and all thanks to the most pleasurable habit of smoking of their parents or family members.

How Smoking Takes Toll On Health

Most probably, there can be no smoker who is completely unaware of the terrible repercussions he/she may have to come across, due to his unstoppable habit of enjoying cigarette puffs day in and day out. Everyone knows this for a fact that this habit has taken its toll in so many lives. But it may be called an unfortunate event or sheer negligence towards one's own health and that of others, people still do not quit smoking. They simply let their mind to get lured by this slender white body, with its golden tip and the intoxicating smell of tobacco! And yes of course, the gorgeous smoke dancing gracefully in the air... See the picture on the right hand side? It may get even worse than this.

To begin the risks of smoking cigarettes, most people go with the assumption that smoking-related diseases only include lung cancer and emphysema. Contrary to this, there are more severe ailments which are hidden in the lap of this smoky devil! If any one wishes to give a really bad time to his enemy then he must make him nurture the habit of smoking. Starting right from the head till the toe, smoking rips apart almost every part of the body.

Starting with hair, it is common for smokers to have smelly and staining hair. Coming to the brain, smokers stay at a risk of developing diseases such as stroke and addiction. They have the tendency to suffer from an altered brain chemistry and an anxiety about harm caused by this very habit. If you are a smoker, then you must have noticed your eyes stinging, staying moist and blinking more often. You are also prone to developing cataracts and macular degeneration symptoms which can even cause blindness. Have you ever noticed that you have been developing lesser sense of smell over time? Another hazard of smoking is malfunctioning of the nose. Graves' disease and disorders related to the thyroid gland, wrinkles and premature aging are also among the honors you can get entitled to, because of your smoking. The ill effects of smoking can be visible in dental health too. Plaque, loose teeth, bleeding gums, gum diseases, yellow discoloration and stains will make your smile go from 'wow' to 'eek'!

Some More Hazards of Smoking

It is the mouth that makes the physical contact with cigarette and then it is the smoke which travels all the way from the throat into the lungs. So, cancers of the lips, mouth, throat, larynx and esophagus are also the diseases which you may expect to welcome in. Then comes sore throat, dwindling sense of taste and foul breath of burnt tobacco. Trust me, to the other person, it smells disgusting! Now we come to one of the most vital organs in our body, the lungs. These important organs, for the favor they do for us, in no way, deserve to be returned with diseases such as lung cancer, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, shortness of breath, pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis and development of cough and sputum.

More than lung-related diseases, the group of heart-related ones are known to be the most common reason for death in smokers. Smoking simply blocks and weakens the arteries of the heart and it leads to heart attack. Liver cancer, as most are aware, is a common risk of smoking, and so are cancer of the stomach, pancreas and colon, ulcers of stomach and a diseases known as aortic aneurysm. One of the worst effects which smoking may have is on people who wish to have children. Impotency, infertility, low sperm count and delay in conception are the returns you might get for letting smoking take control of your life. Female smokers may suffer from cervical cancer, premature menopause and period pains. Bones diseases such as osteoporosis and those of kidney such as kidney cancer and bladder cancer are also included in the list.

Starting from premature birth, premature damage of membranes, abortion and ectopic pregnancy to the birth of smaller infant, birth defects and stillborn infant are among the severe hazards of smoking. Also, a tendency of increased nicotine receptors in the infant's brain and developing the likelihood of smoking as a teenager may also be expected.

To conclude, all these risks of smoking may have twice the chance of getting developed in people who are passive smokers. Common victims are children whose parents or other members of the family are smokers. Also, never give in to this thought that you can prevent all such risks by having a balanced diet and doing regular exercises. Nothing can cut out the poison of smoking, except abandoning the habit altogether for good.
By Rajib Singha
Published: 5/22/2010
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