Smoking DIseases

Smoking DIseases

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Smoking can cause serious health issues, including diseases related to the respiratory system like lung cancer, bronchitis, and emphysema. But did you know that smoking can also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancies? An ectopic pregnancy happens when a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus. This can cause damage to the surrounding tissues and even lead to internal bleeding. Sadly, around 12,000 women are diagnosed with ectopic pregnancies every year, but it's possible that many more women are affected without being diagnosed. So, if you're a woman who smokes, it's important to quit for your overall health and to reduce your risk of ectopic pregnancies.

Premature Ageing and Gum Disease

Smoking can cause your skin to age prematurely, which means your skin starts to look older than it should. This happens because smoking impairs the production of collagen and causes the production of enzymes that break it down. Collagen is a vital protein for healthy skin, and when it breaks down, your skin starts to age faster.

The enzymes that break down collagen are called matrix metalloproteinases (MMP).

Smokers are also four times more likely to develop gum disease and periodontal issues. These problems occur because the toxins in tobacco smoke damage the tissue that connects your teeth, causing them to become weaker and more likely to decay. So, if you're a smoker, you might want to consider quitting for the sake of your skin and oral health.

Second-hand Smoking

Smoking doesn't just harm the person who smokes, but it can also harm those around them who breathe in the smoke. Research has shown that people who inhale second-hand smoke have a 30% higher risk of developing health problems related to smoking. Shockingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that out of the 8 million people who die each year due to tobacco smoking, over 1.2 million have been exposed to second-hand smoke. This means that smoking not only affects the smoker but also puts their loved ones and those in their vicinity at risk.

Other Diseases

Smoking-related deaths are primarily caused by cardiovascular disease, pulmonary complications, and cancer. Out of these, lung cancer is the most common type of cancer caused by smoking. In the following section, we will take a closer look at each of these disease types and the impact that smoking has on them. By understanding the risks associated with smoking, we can take steps to protect ourselves and those around us by quitting smoking or avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke.

Diseases and Long-term Effects of Smoking

Despite the efforts to discourage smoking, many people still take up the habit. Unfortunately, this exposes them to long-term complications and life-threatening diseases that are preventable if they quit smoking.

Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, which affect the heart and its associated blood vessels, including atherosclerosis. Respiratory diseases also affect the respiratory system, including conditions such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The number one cause of death by smoking is cancer, with estimates suggesting that one-third of all cancer deaths are attributed to tobacco use. The most common types of cancers caused by smoking include lung, liver, and kidney cancer.

Quitting smoking is the single most effective solution to prevent the onset of these illnesses. By stopping habitual tobacco use, individuals can prevent premature death, reduce the chances of developing life-threatening diseases, and improve their overall health. It's never too late to quit smoking and start living a healthier life.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Smoking increases the burden of cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the build-up and hardening of plaque made of substances like cholesterol and calcium in the vascular system. Tobacco use induces and exacerbates the effects of atherosclerosis through two primary mechanisms: endothelium damage and increased cholesterol levels.

Endothelial dysfunction is a key factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Research has shown that the toxins in tobacco smoke can induce the programmed cell death of endothelial cells and cause uncontrolled cell death. Additionally, proteins known as inflammatory cytokines are secreted upon smoke exposure, which further damages and impairs endothelial function.

The endothelium refers to the inner lining of blood vessels. Apoptosis refers to programmed cell death, while necrosis is uncontrolled cell death. The mechanisms of atherosclerosis are highly complex and involve processes such as inflammation, insulin resistance, and changes in lipid metabolism. By quitting smoking, individuals can help prevent the development and progression of atherosclerosis and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Respiratory Diseases

Respiratory diseases, also known as pulmonary diseases, can severely impact lung function. This includes conditions like COPD, which refers to conditions that make it challenging to breathe as the respiratory structures have been damaged or become dysfunctional. One type of COPD is emphysema, which occurs when the alveoli, or air sacs of the lungs, become destroyed and permanently enlarged. This results in a significant reduction in the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the alveoli. Additionally, cigarette smoke can trigger the hypersecretion of mucus, which worsens lung obstruction.

The clinical signs and symptoms of emphysema include chronic cough, excessive mucus secretion, and shortness of breath. Unfortunately, once emphysema develops, the pathophysiological effects cannot be reversed, as the alveoli become permanently dilated. Quitting smoking can help prevent the development of emphysema and other respiratory diseases, and may even slow the progression of existing conditions.


Carcinogens, which are agents capable of promoting cancer development, are abundantly present in tobacco smoke. These carcinogens include aldehydes, aromatic amines, and benzene, among others. Tobacco smoke can contain over 7000 chemicals, of which 73 are known carcinogens. Smoking can lead to cancer development in various organs, most commonly the lungs in chronic smokers.

One of the mechanisms by which tobacco smoke promotes cancer development is through the production of harmful substances called epoxides. These epoxides can interact covalently with DNA, leading to DNA replication errors and mutations. Mutations refer to changes in the nucleotide sequence of DNA. If these mutations occur in oncogenes, which are genes involved in cell cycle and growth regulation, cell growth and proliferation can become uncontrolled, leading to tumor development.

Quitting smoking can help reduce the risk of cancer development and other life-threatening diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases (e.g., atherosclerosis) and respiratory diseases (COPD). The causes of smoking include anxiety, depression, and media influence, among others. Legal steps have been taken to mitigate these influences, such as anti-smoking campaigns and advertisement bans. The health risks of smoking include premature aging, fertility complications, and gum disease.

Smoking DIseases

What kind of respiratory diseases can becaused by smoking? 

Smoking can cause respiratory diseases, such as emphysema, a type of COPD. Thiscondition occurs when the alveoli of the lungs become damaged. This reducesgaseous exchange and triggers mucus hypersecretion. 

What is the need to quit smoking?

By quitting smoking, you can prevent premature death, reduce the chances ofdeveloping life-threatening complications and improve your overall health. Thisis the best solution to prevent the onset of health complications caused bysmoking. 

What is the number one disease caused by smoking?

The number one leading disease caused by smoking is lung cancer.

How does cigarette smoking increase the risk of developing cardiovasculardiseases?

Tobacco smoke contains harmful toxins that promote endothelial dysfunction anddamage. This initiates processes such as apoptosis, lipid metabolism changesand inflammation which trigger the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases,such as atherosclerosis.

Why do people smoke?

Individuals smoke for a variety of reasons, but some of the main causes includeanxiety, depression and media influence.

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