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Smoking And The Effects Of Tobacco Use On Your Body

The effects of smoking can be preventable by making healthier choices and quitting. The chemicals found in tobacco smoke are toxic and increase the risk of various chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Read on to learn more about the effects of tobacco use on your body.

Poor Vision

According to research, smoking can lead to vision loss and increase the risk of several eye-related conditions, such as cataracts. Long-term smoking can impact the optic nerve, which can cause the loss of central vision. Other smoking-related conditions that can affect your eyes include:

  • Age-related molecular degeneration.
  • Glaucoma
  • Dry eye syndrome.

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes affects how your body breaks down sugar, which should be used as an energy source. However, unhealthy habits such as smoking can increase your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, which can lead to damaged nerves, cardiovascular disease, and poor blood flow. Quitting smoking can help manage your health and reduce the risk of other chronic illnesses.


Respiratory Infections

Did you know that smoking is directly linked to an estimated 90% of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) fatalities? If you smoke, you increase the risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia. Chronic respiratory conditions result in long-term inflammation and lumps or lung tumour growth.


Fertility Issues

Research suggests that smoking can impact the reproduction of essential hormones, which can damage the genetic material of eggs and sperm. This results in higher miscarriage and congenital disability rates in people who smoke. If you are trying to have a baby, smoking can make it a challenge, and it’s recommended to speak to a healthcare provider to help you quit and find practical solutions to improve fertility.

Pregnancy and Birth Defects

Smoking while pregnant can cause significant health problems that might affect the baby’s development. Negative health effects and complications such as low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) increase in people who smoke while pregnant. Ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when the fertilised egg grows outside of the womb, can result in a miscarriage that can put the mother’s life at risk as well.

Loss of Bone Density

Bone health is critical to supporting bodily movements. Most importantly, strong bones protect crucial organs such as the brain, heart, and lungs from injury and store essential minerals and vitamins you need to survive. On the other hand, long-term smoking can reduce bone density and make you vulnerable to fractures and osteoporosis.



The toxic chemicals found in cigarettes can weaken your immune system. In severe cases, it damages the DNA in your cells, which changes how your cells grow and behave, and the long-term damage to these cells can cause various cancers. The chemicals in cigarettes have been linked to significant lung damage that can lead to lung cancer.


Did you know that smoking can increase the production of inflammatory proteins in your system? This can cause the tissue in your joints and organs to thicken, leading to stress on your joints. High inflammation and severe joint pain can increase fluid buildup and your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Gum Disease

Smoking has been linked to severe oral infections that can damage gum and nerve tissue, which destroys the structure of your teeth. A buildup of bacteria can lead to severe gum disease. If you smoke, your gums may be vulnerable to bleeding and swelling since the toxins in cigarettes make it harder for your immune system to detect and fight off infections.


Skin, Hair and Nails

The harmful substances that enter your system when you smoke have been linked to infections, premature ageing, and several inflammatory skin diseases such as alopecia, psoriasis, and skin cancer. Smoking can also damage hair follicles and hormonal imbalances, possibly speeding up hair loss. Additionally, when your immune system is weakened, you might risk developing fungal nail infections that affect your nails.

The chemical compounds found in cigarettes and other tobacco products are harmful to your health. The best decision should be to quit smoking and make healthier choices to improve your quality of life. Having an Affinity Health plan gives you access to a nationwide network of healthcare professionals who can help you quit smoking and maintain healthy habits.

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