Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco smoke that causes people who smoke to continue to smoke.
Along with nicotine, people who smoke inhale about 7,000 other chemicals in cigarette smoke. Many of these chemicals come from burning tobacco leaf. Some of these compounds are chemically active and trigger profound and damaging changes in the body.
Tobacco smoke contains over 70 known cancer-causing chemicals. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, causing many diseases and reducing health in general.
Smoking doesn’t do your peepers any good. Smoking increases your risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 65.
Type 2 Diabetes
Smoking contributes to type 2 diabetes and increases the risk of complications from the disease— including poor blood flow to legs and feet. This can lead to infection and result in the need to amputate a limb. Yep–you could lose your foot or leg!
Smokers lose bone density at a faster rate than non-smokers which puts you at risk for breaking body parts like your hip. Putting down the cigarettes can help slow down this process and keep you breaking a sweat, not your bones, on the dance floor.
Colorectal cancer, which forms in your intestines (colon or rectum), is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. One of the reasons? Yup, cigarette smoking. Smoking is linked to an increased risk of developing and dying from this type of cancer.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease more common in women that affects the joints in your hands and feet. It causes painful swelling that can eventually result in bone loss and joint deformity. Smoking is one of the causes, and is also associated with developing the disease at an earlier age.
Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
These birth defects, commonly called orofacial clefts, occur when a baby’s lip or mouth doesn’t develop properly during pregnancy. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have babies with orofacial clefts.