Editorial: Smoking can detrimentally impact the body’s overall health for decades

By Editorial Staff
November 17, 2019

The human body is a well-oiled machine that is heavily dependent on the fuel that is put in it. Making the decision to pick up a pack of cigarettes can only be compared to dumping a pound of sugar in the tank. Even the smallest encounter with the addictive habit can rattle your system and detrimentally impact your body for years.

Since its inception to the United States in 2006, many people think vaping is a “safer” alternative to cigarettes. But that’s inaccurate. Vaping still contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. According to Know Your Risks, vaping products also contain harmful chemicals such as particles that can be inhaled into the lungs, flavors that have been linked to lung disease and heavy metals. 

So far, 49 people have died and an additional 2,172 people have fallen ill as a result of vaping.  

 Recently, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control revealed that Vitamin E acetate found in vaping products is one of the factors causing many young adults to have their lungs collapse or even die.  

According to Hopkins Medicine, research shows both cigarettes and electronic cigarettes are as addictive as cocaine and heroin. Those who smoke inhale about 7,000 other chemicals from cigarette smoke. Tobacco itself has been known to contain 70 cancer-causing chemicals.

Within the first 15-30 minutes of a person’s first interaction with cigarettes, damage to your body will already become apparent. Smoking depletes your body of essential nutrients, displaces the oxygen in your skin and reduces your blood flow. The unnatural concoction of chemicals in the bloodstream can cause your skin to become aged and discolored as well as causing your nails and skin to yellow. Many smokers also report an altered or dulled sense of taste.

Smoking not only affects your outward appearance but also many critical bodily functions. According to the CDC, smoking doesn’t just affect one or a few parts of the body but in many unlucky scenarios, it can extend to all reaches of the body. Just a few examples of places smoking can cause cancer include:

  • Bladder
  • Blood
  • Colon and rectum
  • Esophagus
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Throat/Tongue
  • Pancreas
  • Stomach
  • Lungs & Trachea

Smoking causes 84 percent of deaths due to lung cancer and 83 percent of obstructive pulmonary disease.  Smoking also increases the chances of heart disease, stroke, heart attacks and damaged blood vessels and arteries. The brain can develop an aneurysm, which can lead to a stroke. Those who smoke, increases their chance of having a stroke by 50 percent.

Smoking also severely impacts the reproductive health of both men and women. Both sexes can experience can experience infertility and other related complications later in life.

By reducing your smoke intake or quitting entirely, your body will then begin the recovery process. In as little as one day after quitting, your risk for heart attack and heart disease significantly decreases and the oxygen levels in your body begin returning to normal. However, depending on the severity of the intake and addiction, it many not be until 10-20 years after quitting for the body’s health to even be comparable to that of a non-smoker.

If you or someone you know is looking to quit, on-campus resources are available to help. Health Services, located in the downstairs of Founder’s Hall is open Monday-Friday and can be reached at (610)902-8400. Other resources offered by the University can be found here.

Editorial Staff

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