Tobacco and its harmful effects on health
Lung cancer is one of the serious diseases that are related to smoking harmful effects, but not the only one. The effects of this addiction to tobacco go further since it can affect the kidneys, the heart, the brain, the skin, and the mouth … Moreover, it is considered that smoking is directly linked to various diseases that can cause death. This is the case of lung and larynx cancer, which are considered the ninth leading cause of death in the world.
Faced with this worrying situation, Dr. Dick Pasker, a specialist in Pneumology at Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja, adds that the end of tobacco could mean that certain carcinomas, including lung cancer, would become rare in society. For this reason, and on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, we have spoken with our doctor to explain the risks of smoking.
Relationship between tobacco and diseases
It is associated with dozens of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and various types of tumors. For example, we can highlight Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, better known by its acronym COPD, in which air passes with difficulty to the bronchi, causing these effects:
- Choking when the patient walks
- Shortness of breath when you are more active
Healthy lung and smoker’s lung
Early detection of this disease is essential because its effects worsen progressively and, moreover, are definitive. Although it is not possible to cure COPD, fortunately, there are treatments that allow the control of symptoms, as well as a better quality of life in patients. To all this, we must add that this problem is expected to continue to increase, and precisely for this reason, it is so important to detect it as soon as possible.
Does smoking pose other risks?
Yes, tobacco can harm health in other ways:
- Conditions in other organs. We have previously discussed how it can harm the lung, but the truth is that the risk of cancer is present in the organs that are exposed to tobacco, especially the mouth, which we often forget about. It is also harmful to the heart, being determinant in cardiovascular pathologies. Also Read
- Consequences in the lung. In addition to cancer, tobacco can harm this organ in other ways, such as causing emphysema and COPD. Both processes are directly associated with tobacco and their effects cannot be reversed.
- It harms the fertility of men and women, and the conception itself.
- Increases the risks in pregnancy, in the case of women smokers. In addition, it negatively affects the baby both during pregnancy and after its birth.
- We must remember the most vulnerable passive smokers, which are children. Tobacco is a significant risk factor in the appearance of childhood respiratory diseases, which can be prevented simply by keeping away from places where there are people who smoke and, of course, by not being one of them.
- It affects sleep, in short, a smoker sleeps less and worse.
It should be noted that nicotine addiction exerts a significant impediment to smoking cessation. However, the moment this obstacle is overcome, the benefits are immediately noticeable, for example, a better appearance of the ex-smoker’s skin.
Regular checkups for smokers and ex-smokers
It is advisable that both people who smoke and those who no longer do so come to the consultation for periodic medical examinations. Its purpose is that we detect problems related to tobacco addiction at an early stage, and thus be able to treat them quickly.
In the case of lung tumors, if it is detected early and treatment is applied immediately, the cure rate increases to 92%. Conversely, if there is no early diagnosis, many lung cancer patients are at risk of dying. Read More