Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products can have serious effects on your health. Even being a light smoker or inhaling secondhand smoke frequently can do damage to your body that may not be so easy to reverse. Here are some of the detrimental effects of smoking that you shouldn’t ignore.

Lung Disease

Lung disease encompasses a variety of conditions that impact the lungs and often make breathing difficult. According to WebMD, some of the most common lung diseases that are linked to smoking include emphysema, asthma and chronic bronchitis. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is another condition often caused by smoking that creates difficulties inhaling properly because of lung inflammation and sometimes leads to death. Lung cancer, which causes the most cancer-related deaths each year, is yet another major problem that can develop from smoking. No matter what kind of smoke you’re inhaling, clean air and oxygen is really the only safe substance to be putting into your lungs.

Dental Problems

Smoking can wreak havoc on your teeth, gums and other parts of your mouth. Smoking often causes teeth to stain yellow and can lead to tooth decay. Tooth decay and even tooth loss is a major problem among those who smoke, necessitating costly procedures such as all on four implants to restore the structure of the jaw and chewing ability. Smoking is also one of the main culprits of gum disease, which can leave your gums chronically infected. This can vastly increase your chances of oral cancers and even spread infection through your body and bloodstream when left untreated.

Impaired Cardiovascular Health

Blood pressure often increases from smoking, and this can raise your heart attack and stroke risks. Atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and other problems relating to cardiovascular disease can also develop from smoking. If you have an abnormal heart beat (arrhythmia), smoking can exacerbate the condition. The toxins in tobacco products are also known to inhibit the delivery of oxygen through the blood vessels to vital organs. On top of the fact that the smoke itself is replacing oxygen in your lungs, serious damage can be done to your heart tissue due to oxygen deprivation alone.

Skin Problems

Even your skin can suffer when you smoke. Collagen and elastin are often damaged from smoking, which can cause you to develop wrinkles on your face and other parts of your body prematurely. Pursing your lips every time you inhale smoke may also cause fine lines to form around your mouth. While this may seem like a purely cosmetic issue, your skin is actually considered an organ of your body and aging your skin makes it more susceptible to skin cancers and other diseases. Exhaling smoke can have a clogging effect on your skin and result in the formation of more blackheads, leading to greater instances of skin infections. You might even notice your skin turning shades of gray or orange if you smoke.
While smoking can give a temporary high to those feeling depressed or anxious, the detrimental effects of smoking on your health cannot be ignored. Smoking and its effects can quickly diminish your quality of life, and it is essential to find help to quit should you find yourself in the habit. Freeing yourself of smoking habits can show major improvements to your overall health in as soon as six months, and things only get better from there with the proper care.

Author's Bio: 

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.