1) High B.P. and heart diseases : Smoking causes an increase B.P. and heart rate. This is experienced by the individual even with the first cigarette. While the heartbeat of the smokers increase by 10-20 beats per minute under the influence of nicotine, smoking causes reduced blood flow to the heart predisposing an individual to the risk of heart attack in their 30s-40s by 5 times.
2) Cerebrovascular diseases : The risk of stroke increases with the amount smoked. Non-fatal strokes often leaves patient disabled for life.
3) Tobacco and Respiratory diseases : The smoke damages the entire airway and the alveoli of the lung, predisposing patients to COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Bronchitis, Asthma, thereby causing breathlessness and cough. Childhood smoking is known to reduce the lung growth and also cause a decline in it’s function at a younger age.
4) Male and Female infertility : Males who are heavy smokers can have impotence. The sperms of these individuals may be malformed, low in counts and less agile, thereby leading to female infertility. While females who are smokers, are twice at a risk of being infertile. They may take longer to conceive and their chances of conception is reduced by 10-40% per cycle.
5) Osteoporosis : Smoking causes reduced bone density thereby predisposing individuals to a higher risk of hip and vertebral fracture. There is a 17% risk of fracture at 60 and a 41% increase at 70.
6) Premature ageing. Damaging effects on the skin of the smoker is seen after 10 years of smoking. The smoke is known to impact the collagen and elastin fibres which are responsible for maintaining the elasticity of the skin.
7) Premature cataracts, Poor oro-dental hygiene, loss of teeth, periodontitis are common dental issues.
8) Smoking is known to cause an increase production of gastric juices thereby causing an increased risk of peptic ulcer.
9) The link between tobacco and cancer was first discovered in 1915 and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) designated tobacco as carcinogenic in 1986. Fifty percent of the male cancers and 25% of the female cancers are directly linked to tobacco consumption. 90% of the lung cancers are tobacco-induced and have a direct linear correlation with the extent of it’s consumption . While 85% of the head and neck cancers are caused by the same. Cancers of stomach, kidney, pancreas, colon, urinary bladder, genito-urinary system, leukemias to name a few are mostly linked to tobacco usage. The overall risk is related to the lifetime exposure which includes the amount of tobacco smoked each day , the age at which smoking has been initiated and the number of years an individual has smoked.