Updated: Sep 7, 2022
Your body is a living, breathing ecosystem that is based on balance. When this balance is broken, your health can greatly suffer. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world. Most people realize that smoking causes heart disease and lung cancer. Do you know all the other ways that tobacco use can impact your health? Here are 10 other ways tobacco disrupts your body’s balance, and why you need to stop smoking. Immediately.
1. You May Be Destined For An Autoimmune Disease
Smoking weakens your body’s natural defenses, making it more likely that you’ll get sick. For instance, smokers are likelier to come down with infections from pneumonia-causing bacteria than those who don’t smoke. Because smoking damages the protective mucous membranes of your respiratory system, infections and bacteria can move on in, making your body their home. Yuck… Smokers are also at greater risk of developing the autoimmune disease lupus, a serious condition where your immune system attacks your body’s own healthy cells and tissue.
2. Things Might Get Hazy
Smokers are FOUR TIMES likelier to go blind from age-related macular degeneration, a disease where your retina deteriorates over time.
3. Smoking May Be A Pain In Your Joints
If Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) runs in your family, you’re 16 times more likely to develop joint pain than nonsmokers who are also genetically predisposed to getting it.
4. Smoking Can Hurt Your Gut
Here’s a statistic you should take to heart: According to the November issue of Gut, researchers have found that Acid Reflux (AKA heartburn) is 70% more likely to occur in smokers who have smoked for 20+ years than non-smokers.
5. It Also Might Re-Wire Your Brain
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found nicotine addiction to cause chemical changes in the brain, not unlike the chemical changes created by the drug heroin. That’s right. Heroin. To keep your brain from receiving chemical alterations, consider quitting.
6. You Might Get Uglier
Cosmetically-speaking, smoking isn’t doing you any favors. By quitting, your teeth and fingernails will become whiter, your breath less offensive, and your skin will accrue fewer wrinkles. At the very least, quit smoking for vanity’s sake.
7. It Might Make Life A Whole Lot Less-Sweeter
25 studies have shown that smokers are 44% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. These studies have also shown that the heavier the smoker, the more likely the diabetes. What’s more, 12% of type 2 diabetes cases in our country may have smoking to blame.
8. It Could Monkey Wrench Your Libido
Erectile dysfunction occurs more often in smokers than non-smokers. According to one study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, smoking alone can cause a man’s, how shall we say, failure to launch.
9. You Can Feel It In Your Bones
Smoking weakens the bones and can increase your likelihood of getting osteoporosis, as reported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Smoking can decrease bone density in postmenopausal women and increase your risk of hip fractures as well, as noted by the 2004 Surgeon General’s Report.
10. You Might Get The C-Word
Beyond lung cancer, smoking can also increase your risk of stomach, kidney, urinary bladder and pancreatic cancer too. According to a report from the CDC, it is estimated that over 2 million tobacco-related cancer cases have been diagnosed in our country from 1999-2004.
Long story short, you should quit. You probably already know this and don’t need a Top 10 list to tell you. That said, we hope this article helped. Your naturopathic doctor can help you quit smoking with effective, safe and healthy strategies. Contact The Bodhi Clinic today for more information.