The Short and Long Term Effects of Smoking Cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes can result in many adverse consequences. Below are some of the short- and long-term effects of smoking:
High Blood Pressure
Smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict. This puts an extra strain on the heart and causes the blood pressure to rise. Over time, this can lead to chronic high blood pressure.
Smoking damages the cilia. The cilia are the tiny hair-like projections that line the airways. They are responsible for keeping dust and other particles out of the lungs. That is why smokers are more prone to respiratory infections.
Heart disease is the top killer for both men and women. Smoking has been shown to significantly increase the risk of developing heart disease. Smoking raises blood pressure, and high blood pressure is one of the major heart disease risk factors.
Smoking also makes a person more susceptible to developing blood clots. Blood clots can block blood flow to the heart and cause a heart attack. If a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain, then a person will suffer from a stroke.
Lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. In fact, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer victims is only 15 percent. Over 90 percent of the people who are diagnosed with lung cancer are smokers.
Smoking can also reduce life expectancy. A person can take 28 minutes off of his or her life by smoking one pack of cigarettes. Smokers can also expect to die about 13 or 14 years sooner than non-smokers. Furthermore, people who start smoking in their teens typically die about 25 years sooner than non-smokers.
Smoking can also increase the risk of cervical cancer. Researchers have found that smokers are much more likely to test positive for HPV-16 and HPV-14, which are two of the viruses that cause cervical cancer.
Low Birth Weight Baby
Women who smoke or inhale secondhand smoke during pregnancy are putting themselves and their babies at risk. Pregnant women who smoke are more likely to go into labor prematurely. They are also more likely to give birth to a low-birth weight baby.