Smoking causes illness and death, among other disadvantages. It is the most preventable lifestyle factor affecting human health. Smoking harms every organ in your body. Your heart, blood vessels, lungs and fertility are all negatively affected by smoking and the chemicals in cigarettes. Heart and Blood Vessel Health Smoking changes the structure of blood vessels. This can lead to the buildup of plaque that hardens and narrows the vessels, causing a disease called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a common cause of heart attacks and peripheral artery disease.
Smoking increases your likelihood of developing high blood pressure. The carbon monoxide inhaled from cigarette smoke interferes with the way oxygen is carried by your blood to organs, including the heart, which links it to heart disease. Smoking also increases the incidence of blood clots, which can lead to strokes. Lung Function The lung is the main target of the smoke inhaled by cigarettes because it has direct contact with the chemicals. Smoking is the most common cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which affects the function of the lungs and how they deliver oxygen into the body.
COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema and involves a change in the structure of your lung tissue and airways. If you have asthma, smoking can increase the frequency and severity of attacks. Smoking diminishes lung function, so you may experience shortness of breath even with little or no exertion. Effects on Fertility and Babies Smoking contributes to infertility and decreases the chance of conception whether you are a man or woman. Men who smoke are found to have a reduced total sperm count in addition to a decrease in the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.
Smoking diminishes the capacity of an ovary to create eggs that are capable of healthy fertilization. If you are pregnant and a smoker, you increase the risk of a low-birth-weight or preterm baby. An estimated 20 to 30 percent of low-birth-weight babies and 14 percent of preterm births are attributed to smoking in pregnancy, according the U. S. Surgeon General’s report on women and smoking. There is a higher chance your baby will have asthma if you smoked during pregnancy. Even some full-term babies will have diminished lung function if you smoked while pregnant.