As an adult smoker, you can find yourself with:
- Wrinkles around your eyes and mouth – long-term smokers’ skin can be prematurely aged by up to 20 years
- Skin that has been dried out by tobacco smoke and starved of oxygen and nutrients, as smoking restricts your blood vessels and reduces the flow of blood to your skin
- Tobacco-stained fingers
- Yellowish brown teeth, gum disease and bad breath
Smokers are between two and four times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than non-smokers, and much more likely to suffer from strokes, blood clots and angina – and die from heart disease.
Tobacco smoking is responsible for nearly all cases of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. That includes diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which leave sufferers breathless and unable to do many activities.
90% of primary lung cancers in males are caused by smoking. It’s the biggest cancer killer in the US. One in every five deaths in the US are premature and due to smoking . Your risk of cancers increases not just according to the number of cigarettes you smoke, but by the number of years you’ve been a smoker. So the sooner you stop the better.
As a smoker, you increase your risk of cancers of the mouth, bladder, kidneys, pancreas, stomach and liver, as well as the risk of developing leukemia.
If you smoke, studies show that your risk of developing Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes is increased.
One health risk of smoking that you may not be aware of is its effect on your sex life.
Smoking causes fat to build up inside your blood vessels. Although the dangers of this to the heart are well known, few men are aware that it can cause erectile dysfunction.
Over time the fat restricting blood flow will start to break down in most men. The sooner you stop smoking the better chance you have of regaining a strong erection.
Fortunately, when smoking stops you will begin to feel the health benefits. Many of the side effects of smoking begin to reverse, and some can be completely eliminated over time.
Once you’ve stopped your skin should start to look brighter and younger than if you had continued to smoke. That’s because the levels of oxygen in your body will return to normal and your circulation will improve. You’ll slow the formation of wrinkles around your mouth and eyes, and your eyes themselves will probably look brighter. The staining on your teeth and fingers will stop and your breath, hair, clothes and home will all smell better.
Food will taste better. Smells will be more intense. You’ll have more energy and you’ll breathe more easily.
After one year your risk of coronary heart disease falls to about half that of a smoker.
After 10 years your risk of lung cancer falls to around half that of a smoker.
After 15 years your risk of a heart attack falls to about the same as someone who has never smoked .