What Are the Harmful Health Effects of Smoking?

Just what are the harmful health effects of smoking and more importantly, can you reverse them? If you’ve been a smoker for years, or even decades, you’re probably concerned, and rightfully so, about the adverse effects of smoking on your health. When you started smoking, you probably weren’t planning on it being so hard to quit, or thought you’d only smoke once in a while.
Now that you know the truth, it’s just too hard to quit your smoking habit. So, what is it doing to your body? When you take a deep drag and feel that luscious smoke filter its way onto every crevice of your lungs, what is it doing to you? Here’s the skinny on smoke and your health.
Many people don’t know this, but smoking is actually just as bad for your cardio-vascular system as it is for your lungs. Everyone thinks that you’ll die of lung cancer or emphysema if you smoke, and you may well do that, but it’s your heart and circulatory system that feel the effects of smoking the quickest.
As soon as you take a puff, the nicotine and other chemicals (4,000 of them) go to work, speeding up your heart and increasing your blood pressure. It even causes your blood vessels that surround the heart to become stickier, making you a prime candidate for a heart attack.
Stroke is another real risk from smoking cigarettes. According to the Center for Disease Control, It severely reduces blood flow to your extremities. In fact, smokers are at risk have limbs amputated due to the circulation problems it created by their smoking!
The poisons in cigarette smoke cause fat to accumulate in your blood vessels, resulting in hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. The arteries become inflamed and the result can be heart attack or stroke. According to the Surgeon General’s report, smoking even contributes to the 43,000 deaths each year from congestive heart failure. This is a condition where the heart just can’t pump enough blood to supply bodily tissues. If it sounds horrible, it is.
What about cancer? Lung cancer causes more cancer deaths that any other cancer, and guess what the CDC thinks is responsible for 90% of all lung cancer deaths? If you guessed cigarettes you’re on the right track. In 2004 157,000 people died from this killer, so a little math reveals that over 140,000 lung cancer fatalities were caused by cigarettes. Even John Wayne, a chronic, 2+ pack a day smoker, died from lung cancer.