Numerous studies have supported the disclaimer that our generation is very familiar with: cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health. Studies have also shown that when you quit smoking, there is a great reduction of overall mortality and risk of death from cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer. Completely kicking the habit is required because long-time smokers still has an excess risk of developing cancer for up to 30 years.
Still, smoking remains the most preventable cause of human mortality. However, its addictive effects directly influencing the brain make it really difficult to kick the habit. So, in addition to your goal of a cleaner and healthier lifestyle, we are making a list of diseases that will further motivate your goal to quit smoking. For the smokers who still haven’t thought about quitting, consider the following:
1. Cancer – Many people know cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, but few have heard of smoking causing cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, and even the bladder. Hundreds of chemical agents in a typical cigarette stick are carcinogenic, meaning they may cause cell mutations and precipitate the disease. It is estimated that over annually, 100,000 deaths in the United States are from smoking-related cancer.
2. Emphysema – The chemicals in cigarette smoke causes destruction of the lobular walls of the lungs, resulting to trapping of air and difficulty of breathing. Emphysema ranks as the fifth leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. At its worst, patients with emphysema could develop right-sided heart failure, congestive heart failure, and lung collapse.
3. Chronic Bronchitis – Approximately 90% of patients with chronic bronchitis are smokers. The condition is thought to arise from long-standing irritation of the airways, leading to cough, excessive mucus production and airway obstruction. Chronic persistent bronchitis can lead to emphysema, lung cancer, and heart failure.
4. Buerger Disease – The disease is somewhat rare, except that it has preponderance for heavy smokers, particularly those aged 35 years and below. In BD, there is inflammation of the medium-sized and small arteries found in the extremities. Symptoms include severe pain of the affected part even at rest, ulceration of the toes, feet, or fingers, and cold sensitivity.
5. Systemic Atherosclerosis and Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) – Smoking is strongly correlated with the development of atherosclerosis and subsequent heart attacks, and the incidence is increased in patients with hypertension and diabetes. This is the main reason why doctors advise middle-aged men to quit smoking and take up a healthier habit.