Smoking and your immune system

Smoking compromises the immune system, making smokers more likely to have respiratory infections and auto-immune diseases like Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Smoking and your bones

Smoking increases your risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and more likely to break. While recent studies show a direct correlation between tobacco use and decreased bone density, there is good news: Quitting smoking appears to reduce the risk for low bone mass and fractures.

Smoking and your heart

Tobacco smoke contains a host of harmful chemicals, which damage the ability of your heart to function properly. These chemicals also harm your blood cells. Together, this damage increases your risk for many diseases, including:

Atherosclerosis (a disease in which plaque builds up in your arteries)

Aneurysms (bulging blood vessels that can burst and cause death)

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes:

  • Coronary heart disease (CHD)
  • Heart attack and damage to your arteries
  • Heart-related chest pain
  • High blood pressure

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

Stroke

Smoking and your lungs

Smoking cigarettes actually scars your lungs and damages your breathing. It also causes a wealth of respiratory-related issues, including:

  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), which causes symptoms that range from wheezing to chest tightness to shortness of breath
  • Emphysema
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • Tuberculosis

Smoking and your eyesight

Not surprisingly, smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of you. As a smoker, you’re at greater risk for diseases that can lead to blindness, including cataracts, optic nerve damage and age-related macular degeneration.

Cigarettes and Cancer

About 70 of the more than 7,000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke are known to cause cancer. Since smoking affects your entire body, it follows that smoking can cause a wide range of cancers, in various parts of your body including:

  • Lungs
  • Trachea
  • Bronchus
  • Esophagus
  • Oral Cavity
  • Lips
  • Nasopharynx
  • Nasal cavity
  • Larynx
  • Stomach
  • Bladder
  • Pancreas
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Uterine Cervix
  • Colon
  • Rectum

Smoking is also known to cause leukemia.