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What Are The Long-Term Effects of Smoking?

November 3, 2020

The long-term effects of smoking include an increased risk for a number of life-threatening diseases and death. Smoking can harm almost every organ in the body. Most people only associate their lungs with the harmful effects of smoking, but there’s much more to it.

When you smoke, the toxins travel through your lungs, but they’ll also get into your bloodstream. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say chemicals in cigarette smoke cause the cells that line blood vessels to become swollen and inflamed. When your blood vessels are narrowed, it can lead to a list of heart conditions.

There are short-term effects of smoking, too. Here are some alarming facts that can serve as motivation for smokers to give it up.


Short-Term Effects of Smoking

On the surface, the short-term effects of smoking may not seem alarming. But if you just started smoking and you’re experiencing some of them, you should understand that this is a sign of bigger problems to come.

Some of the short-term effects of smoking include:

  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Reduction in your senses of taste and smell
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

Even people who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke may experience some of these problems.

Long-Term Effects of Smoking

The list of long-term effects of smoking is long. And the longer you smoke, the more health issues, conditions and diseases you will put yourself at risk for. Let’s take a look at the long-term health problems you could endure if you’re a smoker.

Health Risks Associated With Smoking

It is estimated that smoking can increase the risk of:

  • Lung cancer in men by 23 times
  • Lung cancer in women by 13 times
  • Coronary heart disease by 2-4 times
  • Stroke by 2-4 times
  • Death from chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other obstructive lung diseases by 12-13 times

Smoking and Cancer

Smoking can contribute to the development of the following cancers:

  • Lung cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Cancer of the esophagus
  • Cancer of the cervix
  • Cancer of the oral cavity
  • Cancer of the larynx
  • Cancer of the pharynx

Smoking and Heart Disease

Smoking contributes to the development of many heart-related problems.

  • Smoking leads to coronary heart disease, the No.1 cause of death in the U.S.
  • Smoking narrows the blood vessels and reduces blood circulation, making smokers more susceptible to peripheral vascular disease.
  • It is also known that smoking can cause an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Smoking and Respiratory Disease

We’ve already mentioned the damage smoking does to your lungs, but here’s more proof:

  • Smoking causes bronchitis, emphysema and other lung diseases by damaging the airways and air sacs in the lungs.
  • Smoking accounts for approximately 90% of all deaths resulting from chronic obstructive lung disease.
  • About 90% of men and 80% of women who die of lung cancer are smokers.

Smoking and Death

The correlation between smoking and heart disease is well-documented and heart disease remains the No. 1 killer among men and women in the United States.

  • The negative health effects of smoking account for approximately 443,000 deaths in the United States every year. That is almost 1 out of every 5 deaths.
  • Tobacco use causes more deaths every year than auto accident injuries, murders, suicides, alcohol use, illegal drug use, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) combined.

Let the Great American Smokeout on November 19 be the day to start your journey toward a smoke-free life. You’ll be joining thousands of people who smoke across the country in taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing your cancer risk.

And now that you know the short and long-term effects of smoking, you can focus on kicking the habit. The good news is if you are a smoker and you quit, you can reverse the effects. If you’re thinking about quitting, our free guide can help. You’ll learn the short and long-term effects of quitting and ways to help you live the rest of your life smoke-free.

Reverse the Harmful Effects of Smoking