The price you pay for smoking is way higher than the cost of a pack of cigarettes. Hundreds of thousands of people pay with their lives. “Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the united states, including more than 41,000 deaths from secondhand smoke exposure” (USDHHS, 2014). The effects of cigarette smoking on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems as well as a person’s overall health is phenomenal.
While cigarette smoking is an illness which can be treated, the diseases caused by it often times may not be cured. The effects of smoking on your cardiovascular, respiratory and overall health will lead to poor health and eventual death. “Smoking habits are one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced and it is the most preventable cause of death in the world today. It kills more than 5 million people a year” (Sloan et al. (2004). Many times, people don’t realize the seriousness of the effects smoking actually has on their health.
The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, arteries and veins that circulate blood and oxygen throughout the body. The effects of smoking, on the cardiovascular system, include blood clots, heart attack, coronary heart disease and death. Blood clots form when there isn’t enough room for proper blood flow thru your veins. Smoking causes plaque and other toxins to build up in arteries and restrict blood flow. The result is blood clotting and clogging the arteries even more.
This can lead to stroke, aortic aneurysm and ultimately a person could die. “Roughly 1 out of 5 deaths from heart disease is directly related to smoking. People who smoke are two to four times more likely to get heart disease” (WebMD, 2018). Smoking restricts oxygen and blood flow, creates blood clots, that can then result in heart attack.
Heart attacks are far more common in people that smoke than nonsmokers. “The human respiratory system is a series of organs responsible for taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. The primary organs of the respiratory system are lungs, which carry out this exchange of gases as we breathe” (Zimmerman 2016). Smoking cigarettes has harsh effects on a person’s respiratory system. Smoking leads to diseases such as emphysema, pneumonia and COPD, all of which are not treated properly and aggressively could lead to respiratory failure and even death. “US Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee Report in 1964 published amid unprecedented worldwide fanfare in the mass media, convinced even most smokers that cigarette smoking shortens human life, causes lung cancer, and other forms of cancer, and exacerbates heart disease, emphysema, bronchitis and a number of other diseases — gravely increasing the risk of dying” (tobacco use ebook).
Emphysema is a disease of the lung where shortness of breath occurs because person’s air sacs in the lungs are overinflated and the gases don’t expel properly from the lungs. Smoking is a direct cause of emphysema, thus in most cases emphysema is absolutely preventable. “The importance of cigarette smoking as a risk factor for developing emphysema cannot be overemphasized. Cigarette smoke contributes to this disease process in two ways. It destroys lung tissue, which results in the obstruction of air flow, and it causes inflammation and irritation of airways that can add to air flow obstruction” (Schiffman, 2017). “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an enormous problem. It is estimated to be the sixth leading cause of death in the world and it also has a corresponding high morbidity”(Lynes, 2007).
COPD can be described as narrowing of the airways. The obstruction causes the airways to get smaller and smaller until a person could no longer breathe. COPD can be treated, but in most cases, death is imminent. “A simple analogy is that of breathing through a drinking straw rather than a wide diameter hosepipe; the drinking straw makes it take longer to breathe in and out” (Lynes, 2007) Lots of people don’t understand the severity of the effects that smoking has on their overall health. From eye disease and blindness to diabetes and reproductive problems, cigarettes are very harmful to a person’s overall health.
People often aren’t aware of the fact that smoking can lead to vision loss. Cataracts and glaucoma are diseases of the eye which can also lead to vision loss. Smoking accelerates the effects of these eye diseases. “Smokers significantly increase their risk of developing a cataract compared with non-smokers. In fact, studies show that people who smoke double their chance of forming cataracts, and the risk continues to increase the more you smoke (Rodrigues, 2016). “We now know that smoking causes type 2 diabetes. In fact, smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. And people with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and with controlling their disease” (CDCP, 2012).