smokingMany people, especially those who smoke, have a very casual viewpoint regarding the damage that smoking may cause to the body and mind. However, that opinion has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. While most of us understand the basics of smoking and how it negatively impacts our body, there are a number of surprising new studies that are once again showing how smoking affects almost every single part of the body.

Here is a closer look at a few of the lesser known aspects of smoking that both smokers and nonsmokers should be aware of.

Nicotine Content of Cigarettes Is On the Rise
Many smokers tend to believe that cigarettes have become healthier in recent years due to some changes in the industry. This includes the addition of filters and changes to the processing of the tobacco itself, but new studies show that it may just be the opposite.

There are Over 40 Individual Carcinogens in Each Cigarette
Over the years, dozens of laws have been put in place with a view to remove highly-toxic chemicals such as asbestos from cigarettes. Unfortunately, this is not enough and;

  • Independent studies now show that the average cigarette has 43 unique carcinogens.
  • Carcinogens are any substance that has been proven to cause cancer after prolonged exposure.

Some of the most common carcinogens in each cigarette include:

  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Formaldehyde
  • Ammonia
  • Carbon Monoxide

Side Effects of Third-Hand Smoking
First-hand smoke is the inhalation of smoke directly from the cigarette and second-hand smoke is the smoke that is inhaled by those nearby. This includes smoke traveling through cracks in doors or in vents throughout a home.

What some of us do not realize is that third-hand smoking not only exists, but can be deadly.

  • Third-hand smoke is created when a home, room, vehicle, or building has been smoked inside for an extended period of time.
  • At some point, the various chemicals within the cigarettes will permanently settle into any fibrous material.

Some of the most common materials that house these chemicals include:

  • Sofas
  • Carpets
  • Drapes
  • Bedding
  • Ventilation Filters

Smoking Affects Genders Differently
All those who smoke will increase their risk of contracting a number of very serious medical issues.

  • While the probability of throat, mouth, and lung cancer will increase across the board, unique issues may arise in people of different genders.
  • A clear example of this is women who smoke regularly and use certain forms of birth control will dramatically increase their risk of a stroke.

There Is No Single Way to Quit
One thing that many of us keep telling ourselves is that they there is a surefire way to break this habit if we want. For instance; a number of people rely on patches or gum to quit smoking. But unfortunately;

  • There is just no single fool-proof plan to quit smoking and
  • Many will find themselves relapsing one or more times simply because they have not found the method that is best for them.

Smoking Parents May Mean Smoking Children
Even parents that are very careful about their second and third-hand smoke may not realize that quitting smoking could help to keep their kids away from the habit and the ill effects of smoking.

  • Studies have been carried out on families in which children witness adults smoking, and
  • The likelihood of a child growing up to smoke increases by a higher percentage when they witness older siblings, parents, extended family members, and family friends smoking regularly.

To conclude, it would be wise to stay aware and make everyone around you aware of the dangers that cigarettes bring – irrespective of the fact that you’re a casual smoker, an occasional smoker or a chain smoker. Even passive smoking can cause serious illnesses if corrective measures are not taken in time.

For more information, visit Careworks.

Author:  Michelle Holincheck, FNP

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