Did you know that the use of tobacco is responsible for over 7 million deaths a year worldwide? Cigarette smoking is incredibly harmful to your health. It can damage almost all the organs in your body, cutting your life expectancy by approximately 10 years. Still not convinced to quit smoking? Here we will share with you 6 reasons why you should avoid tobacco use, as we celebrate World No Tobacco Day today.
1. Smoking impairs your airways and air sacs, making you more prone to developing chronic nonreversible lung conditions (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease like chronic bronchitis and emphysema). It also worsens your asthma attacks. What’s alarming is that smokers are 25 times more likely to get lung cancer!
2. Smokers are up to 4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease and/or stroke. The nicotine present in tobacco causes blood vessels to narrow. As a result, your heart has to pump harder so as to push blood through the narrow arteries. Additionally, smoking also increases your blood pressure and blood clots, elevating your risk of stroke.
3. Smoking elevates your risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by 2 times. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in individuals aged 50 years old and above. It damages a spot close to the middle of the retina, which is required for central vision. This makes simple daily activities (e.g. seeing faces, reading, writing, cooking and driving) very challenging.
4. Smoking affects the fertility of both men and women. A study found that male smokers had lower semen quality (in terms of semen volumes, sperm counts and amount of motile sperm) than non-smokers. Also, female smokers were not able to conceive as efficiently as those who did not smoke. Smoking also raises the risk of preterm delivery, stillbirth and sudden infant death syndrome.
5. Smoking increases your risk of multiple cancers (e.g. stomach, colorectal, kidney, liver, lung and breast cancer).
6. Secondhand smoke affects the health of your loved ones as well. The exposure to secondhand smoke causes adverse health effects in babies and children (e.g. increased frequency and severity of asthma attacks, ear infections, and respiratory infections). Adults who are exposed to secondhand smoke are also at greater risk of getting lung cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke.