The health dangers of tobacco are becoming more and more well-known. Smoking tobacco is a health danger because so many people lose their lives due to tobacco related diseases and these deaths are preventable.
Tobacco harms all different parts of the body such as the heart, lungs and brain. The chemicals and poisons in tobacco can cause emphysema, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. One in two smokers will die prematurely from smoking. But what are the specific health dangers of tobacco? Here are some for starters:
The health dangers of tobacco start somewhere in between the 4,000 chemical components found in cigarettes. Somewhere around 250 of these chemicals are harmful to human health according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some examples of health dangers of tobacco due to the chemicals:
- 1,3-Butadine is a chemical used to manufacture rubber that is also in tobacco. According to the CDC this can increase risk of cancer in the stomach, blood and lymphatic system.
- Acrolein is a gas linked to lung cancer also found in tobacco. Acrolein inhibits DNA repair and can destroy the lining in the lungs that protects you from lung disease
- Arsenic is used to preserve wood. In humans, it can cause heart disease and cancer.
- Benzene is used to manufacture other chemicals. Benzene can cause cancer, particularly leukemia in humans.
- Cadmium is a metal used to make batteries. Cadmium can interfere with the repair of damaged DNA as well as damage the kidneys and linings of the arteries.
- Chromium VI is used to make alloy metals, paint and dyes. It has been proved to be linked to lung cancer.
- Formaldehyde is a chemical used to kill bacteria and to preserve human and animal remains. It is a known cause of cancer and one of the main substances linked to chronic lung disease and is what is in secondhand smoke.
- Polonium-210 is a radioactive element inhaled directly into the airway. It has been shown that people who smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes a day are receiving the same radiation they would get from 300 plus x-rays per year.
- Tar is solid and inhaled chemicals linked with an increased risk of cancer. Tar also leaves a sticky brown residue on the lungs, teeth and fingernails.
Some other health dangers of tobacco include the mixture between carbon monoxide and nicotine. Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas you inhale when you smoke. Once carbon monoxide is in your lungs it enters the bloodstream and decreases the amount of oxygen that is carried by red blood cells. Carbon monoxide can also lead to the hardening of arteries. This can lead to heart disease, artery disease and possibly heart attack. Nicotine is highly dangerous and highly addictive. Nicotine can increase blood pressure, heart rate and the flow of blood to the heart as well as narrowing of the arteries. Nicotine can also contribute to the hardening of arterial walls which can also lead to a heart attack. Nicotine can stay in your blood for up to eight hours depending on how often you smoke.
There are not good health effects of tobacco. The health dangers of tobacco are numerous and deadly in the long term. Quitting smoking can help with reversing some of these health dangers.