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Explore the health effects of smoking, and how electronic cigarettes provide an alternative nicotine delivery method and smoke-like experience
When tobacco burns, it releases more than 5,000 chemicals—100 of which have the potential to cause disease within the human body. The major diseases caused by smoking include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cancers (mostly lung, but can include breast, bladder, throat, mouth and others)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (emphysema and chronic bronchitis)
Other effects of tobacco smoke include:
- Irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines
- Increased risk of painful ulcers along the digestive tract
- Reduced ability to smell and taste
- Premature wrinkling of the skin
- Higher risk of blindness
- Gum disease (periodontitis)
In addition to the potential for a fatal disease, smoking is very addictive, which of course makes it very difficult to stop once you have started.
Continue reading to learn more about how smoking affects different systems in the human body.
The immune system
Your immune system is "a system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease". When your immune system is distressed, it will not work 100% at protecting you from illness. For this reason, you may experience:
- Greater risk of pneumonia, influenza and other infections
- Longer lasting colds, flus, and other illnesses
- Lower levels of Vitamin C and other antioxidants
The musculoskeletal system
Comprised of organs that give humans the ability to move—along with providing form, support and stability—the musculoskeletal system can be affected by smoking just like your heart and lungs. Specifically, smoking can cause a tightening of certain muscles and a reduction in bone density.
Think Just One Cigarette Won't Harm You?
Even light smoking poses risks…
One of the reasons that healthcare providers encourage people not to smoke (…or to stop smoking) is that no cigarette is without risk. Experts say that smoking even as few as five days out of a month can lead to shortness of breath and coughing. Smoking between 1 and 4 cigarettes a day increases the risk of dying from heart disease and cancers.
For women, this is even worse: their risk of lung cancer from light smoking is higher than that of a man's.
The Harmful Effects of Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke is the mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, which is exhaled by smokers. Just like the tobacco smoke smokers inhale, secondhand smoke contains thousands of substances, many of which are known to cause cancer. In fact, the EPA estimates that 3,000 lung cancer deaths occur each year as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
In addition, exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease.
Children are at an even greater risk to secondhand smoke because:
- They are still developing physically
- Have higher breathing rates than adults do
- Have little control over their indoor environments.
The risks are exponentially higher as the amount of exposure rises, for example, when a child's mother smokes. Along with the typical health risks associated with exposure to secondhand smoke, children also run the risk of:
- Asthma (or asthma-like symptoms) even with no previous asthma
- Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome
- Increased risk of pneumonia, bronchitis and other lower respiratory tract infections
- Increased risk for middle ear infections
For an interactive look at the health effects of smoking, visit https://smokefree.gov/health-effects.
As explained on every pack sold in the United States, stopping smoking can greatly reduce your chances of developing any of these conditions. However, giving up smoking can be extremely difficult, but the benefits outweigh the efforts.
If you're looking for a way to get the nicotine your body craves without risks traditional cigarettes carry, electronic cigarettes offer a smoke-free alternative that mimics traditional smoking.
SouthBeach offers several kinds of starter kits that can provide you with all the tools you need. In addition to offering top-of-the-line electronic cigarettes, you can browse our blog and knowledge center to learn more about the world of vapor smoking.