THE EFFECTS SMOKING HAS ON OUR BODIES

By Lorraine Hitchen  |  April 22nd, 2012  |  Beauty Articles,News


Most people will know that smoking is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Statistics provided by the UAE Health Authority confirm that 31% of the population in the United Arab Emirates are smokers and as research has shown, smoking reduces life expectancy by seven to eight years.

The good news is that when you quit smoking, your body begins to repair the damage that has been caused from previous years of smoking however, some of us are not as fortunate as others. Many doctors have said that ten years after you quit, your body should have repaired most of the damage smoking has caused so giving up the fags can yield health benefits, regardless of your age or the length of time you have been smoking. The unfortunate side is that if you have already been diagnosed with a disease like cancer or emphysema, these conditions are typically terminal.

Cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 different chemicals compounds that cause extensive damage to the human body. The most harmful of these chemicals include:

Chemical Description
Benzene (petrol additive)

  • A colourless cyclic hydrocarbon obtained from coal and petroleum, used as a solvent in fuel and in chemical manufacture – and contained in cigarette smoke.
  • A known carcinogen associated with leukaemia.

Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)

  • A colourless liquid, highly poisonous, used to preserve dead bodies – also found in cigarette smoke.
  • Known to cause cancer, respiratory, skin and gastrointestinal problems.

Ammonia

  • Used as a flavouring, frees nicotine from tobacco turning it into a gas
  • Often found in dry cleaning fluids.

Acetone

  • Fragrant volatile liquid ketone, used as a solvent, for example, nail polish remover
  • Found in cigarette smoke.

Tar

  • Particulate matter drawn into lungs when you inhale on a lighted cigarette. Once inhaled, smoke condenses and about 70 per cent of the tar in the smoke is deposited in the smoker’s lungs.

Nicotine (insecticide/addictive drug)

  • One of the most addictive substances known to man, a powerful and fast-acting medical and non-medical poison.
  • This is the chemical which causes addiction.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

  • An odourless, tasteless and poisonous gas, rapidly fatal in large amounts
  • The same gas that comes out of car exhausts
  • The main gas in cigarette smoke, formed when the cigarette is lit

Others

  • Arsenic (rat poison)
  • Hydrogen Cyanide (gas chamber poison)

Source: Health Education Authority (UK) & www.stop-smoking-programs.org

Quitting smoking is not easy, it will only work if you really want to do it, and you are committed, so no looking back.

It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Close family and friends around me endured three months of perdition. I was moody, irritable, lashed out and this was all due to nicotine withdrawal. But I can promise you that when you get passed this stage and you are on the other side, you will have increased energy levels, regain lung capacity, and any breathing difficulties are most likely to have disappeared.

So if the harmful chemical compounds you are putting into your body are not reason enough for you to quit, here are five more reasons to toss the fags.

  1. Save yourself thousands of Dirhams;
  2. You will sleep better;
  3. Your sense of smell and taste will become sharper;
  4. You will have fewer wrinkles, especially the ones that form around the mouth from sucking on cigarettes; and
  5. Most importantly you will live longer.