Smoking Kills: Organs Where It Starts
Upon inhaling cigarette smoke, no less than 7,000 carcinogens begin churning all over your body, starting in your esophagus all the way to the distant locations you probably wouldn’t think of. Truth is, for all its weakening popularity, smoking remains as the number one avoidable cause of death in the United States.
On a yearly basis, about 480,000 people die from medical conditions directly related to smoking. Below are the six organs that are most badly affected by this unhealthy habit:
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Lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema are three of the most widespread diseases that directly results from smoking. Eighty percent of all lung cancers are because of smoking. As smoke enters the body, it debilitates the fine cilia that line the organ’s inner walls, irritating them so much that they start to overproduce mucous. Death of the cilia brings about mucous build-up, respiration problems, toughening and blackening of previously soft healthy tissue, and in due course, asthma and cancer.
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2. Male Sexual Organ
Smoking can as well diminish a male’s ability to reach an erection and keep it. This finding has been repeatedly made over a span of decades, but most compellingly in 2011 when a study proved that non-smoking males’ ability to get erections can be up to five times as fast and durable as smokers’.
Cigarettes significantly raise the chances of a woman having ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in which the embryo implants itself outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube). Based on a 2010 study, this is because of the overproduction of PROKR1, a protein that gets in the way of fallopian tubes trying to send the egg to the womb. Research has also discovered that cigarette smoking can cause vitro fertilization failures, adverse reproductive results, lower overall fecundity rates and late pregnancies later.
Smoking increases people’s risk for liver cancer substantially, based on a 2011 study which found that almost half of all liver cancer cases were due to smoking. Liver cancer deaths arise from hepatocellular carcinoma in most cases. Cirrhosis — a medical condition in which liver cells turn to scar tissue — is among the biggest non-cancerous forms of liver damage.
Smoking damages the eye in two ways. First is when the smoke itself covers your face as you inhale and exhale. Because of the constant exposure to the smoke, your eyes can dry out and get irritated. And then smoking compromises your blood flow, preventing the optic nerve from absorbing enough antioxidants. This means your blood will become polluted and your ocular organs will starve.
It’s easy to forget that the skin itself is an organ – in fact, the biggest organ in the body. And smoking can destroy it in several ways. For one, you’ll notice some obvious cosmetic changes, like eyebags, tough, wrinkly skin and even stretch marks, all of which come from the skin’s dying elasticity. And then there are the bigger health risks, like psoriasis, warts, poor wound healing and the dreaded skin cancer.