If you smoke, you are more likely to have a stroke than someone who doesn t smoke. In fact, smoking increases your risk of having a stroke by at least 50%, which can cause brain damage and death. And, by smoking, you double your risk of dying from a stroke. One way that smoking can increase your risk of a stroke is by increasing your chances of developing a brain aneurysm. This is a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. This can rupture or burst which will lead to an extremely serious condition known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which is a type of stroke, and can cause extensive brain damage and death. The good news is that within two years of stopping smoking, your risk of stroke is reduced to half that of a non-smoker and within five years it will be the same as a non-smoker. Your lungs can be very badly affected by smoking. Coughs, colds, wheezing and asthma are just the start. Smoking can cause fatal diseases such as pneumonia, emphysema and lung cancer. Smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD, a progressive and debilitating disease, is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. People with COPD have difficulties breathing, primarily due to the narrowing of their airways and destruction of lung tissue.
Typical symptoms of COPD include: increasing breathlessness when active, a persistent cough with phlegm and frequent chest infections. Whilst the early signs of COPD can often be dismissed as a smoker s cough, if people continue smoking and the condition worsens, it can greatly impact on their quality of life. You can slow down the progression of the disease and stopping smoking is the most effective way to do this. Smoking causes unattractive problems such as bad breath and stained teeth, and can also cause gum disease and damage your sense of taste. The most serious damage smoking causes in your mouth and throat is an increased risk of cancer in your lips, tongue, throat, voice box and gullet (oesophagus). More than 93% of oropharyngeal cancers (cancer in part of the throat) are caused by smoking. The good news is that when you stop using tobacco, even after many years of use, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing head and neck cancer. Once you ve been smokefree for 20 years, your risk of head and neck cancer is reduced to that of a non-smoker. Smoking can cause male impotence, as it damages the blood vessels that supply blood to the penis. It can also damage sperm, reduce sperm count and cause testicular cancer. Up to 120,000 men from the UK in their 20s and 30s are impotent as a direct result of smoking, and men who smoke have a lower sperm count than those who are non-smokers.
For women, smoking can reduce fertility. One study found that smokers were over three times more likely than non-smokers to have taken more than one year to conceive. The study estimated that the fertility of smoking women was 72% that of non-smokers. Smoking also increases your risk of cervical cancer. People who smoke are less able to get rid of the HPV infection from the body, which can develop into cancer. Smoking while you are pregnant can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth and illness, and it increases the risk of cot death by at least 25%. If you are pregnant, you can find lots more information on the specialist. The good news is that once you stop smoking, your health improves and your body will begin to recover.
Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Here s why. Factors like high blood pressure can stretch out the arteries and cause scarring. Bad cholesterol, called LDL, often gets lodged in the scar tissue and combines with white blood cells to form clots. The good cholesterol, called HDL, helps remove LDL from the arteries. Smoking robs you of some of your good cholesterol. Smoking temporarily raises your blood pressure. Smoking increases the blood s clotting likelihood. Smoking makes it more difficult to exercise. Although cigarette smoking alone increases your risk of coronary heart disease, it greatly increases risk to your whole cardiovascular system.
Smoking also after bypass surgery. is the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries, and is a chief contributor to heart disease the No. 1 killer in America. risks are higher, too. Because smoking temporarily increases blood pressure, and also increases cholesterol build-ups and the tendency for blood to clot, both types of strokes are more likely for a person who smokes. There are strokes caused from bleeding because of a weakened blood vessel and strokes caused by blockages and clots that form in a vessel and cut off blood flow to the brain. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and adult disability in America. Smoking also contributes to. Again, because of the added strain smoking places on the arteries and veins, peripheral artery disease is much more like among smokers, and the habit also further increases the risk for aortic aneurism. There is hope and help. Despite all these scary facts, there is hope if you re a smoker. Did you know that almost immediately after you quit smoking, your lungs and other smoke-damaged organs start to repair themselves? You can start getting better the day you put down the cigarettes. See how this process happens in the. Lung and breathing problems. Your lungs are air-exchange organs. They re made up of tubes that branch out into small sacs called bronchioles and alveoli where oxygen exchange takes place.
Your body takes in the oxygen you breathe and uses it as fuel. When you breathe in, the sacs inflate. When you breathe out, the sacs deflate. In a healthy person, these tubes and sacs are very elastic and spongy. In a person with a chronic lung disease, these sacs lose their elasticity and oxygen exchange is greatly impaired. When that happens, your body is in grave danger because we can t live without oxygen! The lungs protect themselves with a thin layer of protective mucus and by moving toxic particles out with small hairs. In a smoker s lungs, the small hairs, called cilia, move slower and struggle to remove harmful particles. You can t cough, sneeze or swallow effectively to clear these toxins. They become trapped in your lungs, leading to higher risk for numerous dangerous health problems, including heart disease, stroke and cancer. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is usually made up of two conditions that make breathing difficult: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. When you have emphysema, the air sacs in your lungs start to deteriorate and lose their elasticity. Chronic bronchitis occurs when the lining in the tubes in your lungs swell and restrict your breathing. These conditions are directly related to smoking. Learn more: Sign up for our monthly! Last reviewed 3/2015