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World No Tobacco Day: Reasons Why You Should Quit Smoking Today!

By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 31 May 2022, Updated on - 18 October 2022

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Tobacco use can kill! With each puff of a cigarette, the toxic chemicals of tobacco reach the lungs, brain, heart, and other vital organs leading to immediate and long-term health consequences. Every year 31st May is observed as World No Tobacco Day to raise awareness against the life-threatening effects of both smoked and smokeless tobacco. Despite this, more than 8 million people succumb to death every year globally due to tobacco use. Let us shed light on all the major health problems linked to tobacco in detail below.  

Common Health Problems Associated With Tobacco Use

1. Respiratory Conditions

Tobacco is one of the primary causes of respiratory infections. The smoke and toxins from tobacco can damage your lungs and make you prone to chronic bronchitis, a condition characterized by inflammation in the bronchial (breathing) tubes of the lungs. People who have chronic bronchitis are also at risk of developing emphysema, a condition that damages the air sacs in the lungs. Both chronic bronchitis and emphysema are two main types of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), a group of lung diseases that make it difficult to breathe normally. Besides causing COPD, smoking can also worsen other respiratory problems such as asthma, tuberculosis and pneumonia. 


2. Diabetes

Insulin is a hormone that helps manage the glucose levels in the blood. Tobacco use increases the resistance to insulin, thereby increasing the risk of developing diabetes. Research shows that smokers are at 30% to 40% higher risk of type 2 diabetes than those who don’t smoke. Moreover, smoking can also worsen some of the health complications linked to diabetes, such as kidney disease and eye problems.

3. Circulatory Problems 

Tobacco contains nicotine, an addictive chemical that constricts the blood vessels. Smoking also reduces the levels of HDL ‘good’ cholesterol and raises LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body. High levels of LDL can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition marked by a buildup of plaque in blood vessels. The plaque buildup significantly reduces the blood flow and supply of oxygen to key organs including the heart and the brain, thereby increasing the risk of hypertension, stroke, and heart attack. 


4. Reproductive Issues

According to research, people who smoke are more likely to develop fertility issues than those who don’t. Smoking tobacco can restrict the flow of blood to the penis, often leading to erectile dysfunction. It can also adversely affect the quantity and quality of sperm. Similarly, women who smoke may have difficulty conceiving as tobacco use can adversely affect hormone production, contribute to the blockages in the fallopian tubes, and make it difficult for sperm to fuse with the egg. Smoking can also damage the eggs in the ovaries and increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy (growth of the embryo outside the uterus). 

5. Cancer

Cigarettes contain thousands of harmful chemical compounds, some of which are known to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing substances). These chemicals damage or change the DNA structure of cells, which can trigger the uncontrolled growth of cells, resulting in cancer. Smoking also weakens the immune function, making it difficult for the body to curb the growth of cancerous cells. While tobacco use is mostly associated with lung cancer, it can also cause cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and blood.


As you can see, tobacco can harm your health in more ways than one. It can also reduce your quality and expectancy of life. Therefore, experts recommend quitting tobacco to improve health outcomes.


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