What Are the Harmful Effects of Smoking?


Quick Answer

The harmful effects of smoking include higher risks of poor vision, cataracts and macular degeneration; weakening of sense of smell and taste; increased risks of respiratory infections and illnesses; and cardiovascular system diseases, such as atherosclerosis or the accumulation of bad cholesterol and widening of arteries, reports Healthline. Smoking also increases the risk of blood clot formation, which can lead to stroke.

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Full Answer

Long-term smokers are at a risk of leukemia, states Healthline. Moreover, smokers suffer early aging, wrinkles and skin color changes. Oral issues associated with smoking include gum inflammation or infection, and tooth loss, decay or stains. Smokers also have higher risks of mouth, throat, kidney and pancreatic cancers.

Additionally, smokers are more likely to develop insulin resistance, leading to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, according to Healthline. Female smokers are vulnerable to pregnancy complications, such as miscarriage and premature delivery. They may also undergo menopause earlier than nonsmokers.

Smokers who experience physical withdrawal are prone to respiratory pain, headaches, sleep difficulty, depression and irritation, notes Healthline. Secondhand smoke can cause children to suffer asthma attacks, wheezing, coughing and ear infections. Children in households with smokers also have higher risks of bronchitis and pneumonia. Inhaling secondhand smoke immediately affects the cardiovascular system and puts nonsmokers at higher risks of heart problems, especially coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

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