I don’t think anybody needs to be told that smoking is bad for you. We have been told this for years and it is even printed right on the side of the cigarette pack. That being said, it is also one of the habits that people just seem to hang onto and when you consider exactly how addictive it is, it’s little wonder that they can’t give it up. It just seems to get a grip on our lives and we can’t get beyond it, no matter how hard we try.
Smoking is one of the largest causes of cancer and we are told to quit in order to lower our risk of cancer. What might surprise you is the fact that tobacco is not the only dangerous substance you are inhaling when you are smoking. When you learn some of the chemicals that are included in cigarette and tobacco smoke, it will alert you to the dangerous effects they have on the human body. It may just be enough for you to finally kick the habit, once and for all.
Mercury – The neurotoxin, Mercury, can damage the body in a big way. According to the Environmental Protection Agency and various studies, the chemical can lead to behavioral changes, hypertension, headaches and changes to cardiovascular function.
Carbon monoxide – Often known as the silent killer, this is a colorless and odorless gas that can seriously affect your health. It displaces oxygen when it is inhaled and carbon dioxide poisoning can occur over time. It can lead to heart disease, dizziness, weakness and shortness of breath.
Hydrogen cyanide – This is an extremely dangerous component that is found in cigarette smoke. It is considered a chemical asphyxiant, meaning that it can prevent oxygen from reaching your tissues and lead to death or unconsciousness. It is highly toxic and poisons your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. It also has a negative effect on your vision, brain and metabolism.
Formaldehyde – This is a flammable, colorless chemical that is part of the metabolic process. It is also used in the embalming process and in various household products. The chemical causes health damage for the short-term including wheezing, watery eyes and burning throat. Over the long-term, it is considered to be a carcinogen and can lead to nose or throat cancer.
Lead – Lead poisoning takes place over time and the symptoms are not always attributed to this metal. The side effects can include a loss of appetite, irritation and distractedness. People may also find themselves at a higher risk for kidney disease and high blood pressure. No amount of lead in the body is safe.
Ammonia – Although we may find this in a variety of household or industrial products, it can be quite damaging when it is inhaled. The New York State Department of Health says the chemical is corrosive and destroys the respiratory system. Even at low exposures, it can cause olfactory fatigue, coughing, chest pain and a burning sensation in the nose or throat.
Potassium Citrate – This chemical is sometimes used to treat the kidneys when they are acidic but it is only prescribed if it is absolutely needed. The side effects of exposure to this chemical include anything from nausea and stomach pain to dizziness, muscle weakness and fast heartbeat.
Even if you only smoke occasionally, you may end up with some of these problems. Consider kicking the habit today and replacing it with a good habit. If you have someone in your life that is addicted to cigarettes, let them know about the dangers.