Q:

What are some facts about the effects of smoking on your health?

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Quick Answer

Smoking cigarettes can cause cancer nearly anywhere in the body, including the lungs, liver, kidney, stomach and blood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking also causes lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, in addition to coronary heart disease and stroke.

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Full Answer

Smoking negatively affects almost all organs in the body, cautions the CDC. It can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant and dramatically increases risks for stillbirth, low birth weight, ectopic pregnancy and sudden infant death syndrome. Smoking damages men's sperm, decreasing fertility and increasing risks for birth defects and miscarriages.

Cigarette smoking can cause type 2 diabetes mellitus and rheumatoid arthritis, according to the CDC. It causes inflammation and can impair proper functioning of the immune system. Additionally, smoking hurts the teeth and gums, sometimes causing tooth loss, and increases a person's risk of developing eye problems such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

People who smoke as few as five cigarettes a day can develop early symptoms of cardiovascular disease, notes the CDC. Smoking causes blood vessels to grow narrower and thicker, forcing the heart to beat faster and increasing blood pressure. Smoking can also cause blood clots to form, which may result in a heart attack or stroke.

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