No matter how you smoke, tobacco is dangerous to your health. There are no safe substances in tobacco products, from acetone and tar to nicotine and carbon monoxide. The substances that you breathe not only affect your lungs. They can affect your entire body.
Smoking can cause a variety of ongoing complications in the body, as well as long-term effects on your body systems. Although smoking can increase the risk of various problems for several years, some physical effects are immediate.
Central nervous system
One of the ingredients in tobacco is a mood-altering drug called nicotine. Nicotine reaches your brain in just a few seconds and gives you more energy for a while. But as that effect diminishes, you feel tired and desire more. Nicotine is extremely addictive and that’s why people find smoking so hard to quit.
Physical withdrawal from nicotine can affect your cognitive functioning and make you feel anxious, irritated and depressed. Withdrawal can also cause headache and sleep problems .
When you inhale smoke, you absorb substances that can damage your lungs. Over time, this damage leads to various problems. Along with increased infections, people who smoke run a higher risk of chronic non-reversible lung disease such as:
emphysema, the destruction of the air pockets in your lungs
chronic bronchitis, permanent inflammation that affects the lining of the respiratory tubes of the lungs
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of lung diseases
Withdrawal from tobacco products can cause temporary congestion and breathing problems when your lungs and airways begin to heal. Increased mucus production immediately after you stop smoking is a positive sign that your respiratory system is recovering.
Children whose parents smoke are more prone to coughing, wheezing and asthma attacks than children whose parents do not. They also tend to have higher rates of pneumonia and bronchitis.
Smoking also increases blood pressure, weakens vascular walls and increases blood clots. Together this increases your risk of having a stroke.
Integrated system (skin, hair and nails)
The more obvious signs of smoking are skin changes. Substances in tobacco smoke actually change the structure of your skin. A recent study has shown that smoking significantly increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer).