At Body Happy we thoroughly enjoy seeing all our clients and the people around them improve their overall health and lead a healthier life. But there are some factors that we can and cannot control, for example we can help them to stop or reduce the amount they smoke but we cannot help the people around them, causing them to inhale ‘second-hand smoke’ so today we are going to talk about how tobacco and smoking in general effects your health as we celebrate no smoking day.
Starting with the main and most known organ to be negatively affected by smoking. Your lungs can be very severely affected by smoking. Coughs, colds, breathlessness and asthma are just the beginning. Smoking can cause lethal diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer. Smoking is the cause of nearly 85% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD, a progressive and incapacitating disease, is the term used for a collection of lung diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with COPD have problems breathing, mainly due to the narrowing of their airways and destruction of lung tissue. Symptoms of COPD include; increasing breathlessness when active, a persistent cough with phlegm and frequent chest infections.
Whilst the early signs of COPD can often be dismissed as a ‘smoker’s cough’, if people continue smoking and the condition deteriorates, it can seriously impact their quality of life. You can slow down the progression of the disease and by stopping smoking is the most effective way to do so.
Moving on to probably the most import organ in your body. Smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation, increasing the risk of conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and cerebrovascular disease.
Carbon monoxide from the smoke and nicotine equally put a strain on the heart by making it work harder and faster. They also rise your risk of blood clots. Other chemicals in cigarette smoke can damage the lining of your coronary arteries, leading to furring of the arteries.
In fact, smoking doubles the risk of having a heart attack, and if you smoke you have twice the risk of becoming diagnosed or even dying from coronary heart disease than lifetime non-smokers.
The good news is that after only one year of not smoking, the risk of dying from coronary heart disease is reduced by half. After stopping for 15 years, your risk is like that of someone who has never smoked.
The last and most definitely not least area of the body we are talking about that is affected by smoking is the brain. If you are a smoker, you are more likely to have a stroke than a person who doesn’t smoke.
In fact, smoking increases the risk of having a stroke by 50% compared to a person who doesn’t smoke, which can cause brain damage and potentially death.
One way that smoking can increase the risk of a stroke is by increasing your chances of developing a brain aneurysm. This is a bulge in a blood vessel that is caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. This can rupture or burst which will lead to an extremely serious condition known as a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which is a type of stroke, and can cause extensive brain damage and death.
The good news is that within two years of stopping smoking, your risk of stroke is reduced by 50% and within five years it will be the same as a non-smoker.
I’m going to finish this blog with a quote by Ronald Reagan; ‘We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.’ This quote does not only apply to help reduce and stop smoking worldwide but it applies to people struggling to reach their goal, no matter what it is, or who it is. Make sure to be positive and help them reach it.