Cigarettes Destroy Your Heart & Lungs
Cigarettes are harmful to your body, causing many diseases. The longer you smoke, the more diseases you will encounter. Specifically, your heart and lungs are the most vulnerable organs to cigarettes. Knowing the danger, you should not start smoking at all. But if you are a smoker, quit immediately! It is important that you have regular annual heart and lungs check-ups.
Cigarettes Ruin Your Lungs
Smoking is a direct cause of cancer. Aside from lung cancer, it can cause cancer in other organs as well. Nicotine in cigarettes affects the entire body system. The severity depends on the quantity of cigarettes and the length of time a person is a smoker. Whether you are a smoker for a long period or a heavy smoker for only a short time, you will end up with the same afflictions.
Those between the age of 55 and 75 years old who are smoking or used to smoke more than 1 pack a day on an average of more than 30 years (equivalent to 30 pack-years), or over 20 pack-years on average and also posses other hereditary risks, have high possibility of developing lungs cancer. This is because smoking is equivalent to inhaling PM2.5 particles into the body.
Some noticeable symptoms of the cigarettes’ effects on the lungs include asthma, labored breathing, emphysema (all levels of severity), and acute shortness of breath. In addition, more severe afflictions can lead to chronic pulmonary diseases that damage the lungs. Therefore, stopping or quitting smoking will allow the lungs to function better. It has been found that the risks of complications after the operation among patients with lung cancer who stop smoking for more than 2 weeks are reduced to almost the same as those who do not smoke.
Cigarettes Lead to Heart Attack
Free radicals from smoke are the main culprits, as they attack the protective system of your blood vessels and cause them to deteriorate – especially the blood vessels that nourish important organs such as cerebrovascular and coronary artery, leading to the hardening of artery walls among others. Additionally, these free radicals pave the way for many different undesirable conditions including chronic coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease of the legs and aortic aneurysm, etc. More significantly, it is found that second-hand smoke affects others as much as the smoker him/her-self.
There are 2 visible symptoms when smoke affects the heart:
- Acute symptom – when plaque build-up blocks the artery and causes chest pain, palpitation, etc.
- Gradual symptom – when vascular calcification causes shortness of breath, chest pain, chest tightness, extreme fatigue from activities such as exercising, walking up the stairs, walking, etc.
Moreover, nicotine in cigarettes causes the blood pressure to rise. Smokers tend to have much higher blood pressure than non-smokers. Today, there is an increasing number of high blood pressure cases among young smokers who do not have hereditary conditions. However, the higher the blood pressure, the more risks there are for peripheral arterial diseases. In addition, compared to the general public, those who smoke a lot of cigarettes from a young age appear to suffer from aortic stenosis much earlier.
Lungs & Heart Screen Test
Smokers or those who used to smoke should undergo Low Dose CT Chest screening together with CT Coronary Calcium Score testing for lung cancer and coronary artery diseases at least every 5 years. But these are recommended annually for those in the high risks group. Thus, any discovered abnormality can be timely treated.
Advantages of Screening Test
- CT scan can detect both abnormalities in the lungs and heart at the same time.
- No need to refrain from food or water.
- Screening takes only 10-15 mins.
- The result of screening can provide risks assessment for the next 5 years.
Knowing Enables Quitting
The best way to quit smoking long-term is to realize the danger of cigarettes and its effects on the body. This will lead to the self-driven desire to change the habit and quit smoking. It is crucial to know that the toxins from cigarettes take effect immediately and cause continuous inflammation inside the body. Even after quitting smoking, the health risks still remain. The severity depends on the number of cigarettes and how long one has been a smoker. Therefore, the best way is to not start smoking at all. But if you already are a smoker, you should now consider the consequences and stop immediately.
Moreover, electronic cigarettes are as harmful as regular cigarettes, and they are readily accessible, easy to carry, and more addictive – because of their alluring aromas. Therefore, it is vital one should realize the danger of both electric and regular cigarettes. Neither of them should be used. If you are already a smoker, it is crucial that you quit to avoid further harming yourself. The sooner you can quit, the better your health will become.