What are the effects smoking has on you?


Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemical compounds including tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, acetone, ammonia, arsenic, phenol, naphthalene, cadmium and polyvinyl chloride. Many of these agents are toxic poisons and at least 43 have been confirmed to cause cancer.


No wonder smoking is the single largest cause of preventable death in developed countries. More people die prematurely due to smoking than any other cause. Worldwide, around 5.4 million deaths a year are caused by tobacco (according to the World Health Organization). This means every 6.5 seconds someone dies from smoking. That’s one jumbo jet plane full of people crashing every 45 minutes.


If you smoke the chances are you will die from it and you will die many years before you would normally. Imagine those who love you – your life partner, your children, your friends & family, even your grandchildren – having to go through the grief of watching you die prematurely due to a habit that could have been avoided.


Smoking has been shown to reduce the life of a smoker by an average of 14 years (each cigarette will reduce your life expectancy by 6 minutes). That’s a long time to miss out on living. To miss out on being with the ones you love. To miss out on spending time with your children, not to mention your grand children. You may even miss out on seeing your grand children all together.


Smoking is the largest cause of preventable illness and disease in developed nations. Smoking is a known and/or probable cause of at least 25 diseases, including lung and other cancers, heart disease, stroke, emphysema and other chronic lung diseases.


Smoking is a key risk factor for the three diseases that cause the most deaths: heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and lung cancer. Smokers are also at increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and reduced lung function (DoHA 2006).


Smokers have greater than double the chance of having a heart attack as non-smokers. Smoking is linked to asthma and brittle bone disease.


Smoking is responsible for around 80% of all lung cancer deaths. Smoking has been linked to cancers of the mouth, tongue, larynx, bladder, kidney, liver, prostate, stomach, testicles, cervix, ovaries, breast, colon, pancreas, skin cancer and others.


Tobacco harms almost every living tissue in the body it comes in contact with. Smoking can cause hair loss, brain stroke, gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and ulcers. Smoking damages your eye sight and doubles your chance of going blind.

Smoking increases the aging process. A 50 year old smoker is as old physically as a 70 year old non-smoker.


Other effects of smoking can be even more immediate.


The frustration of a persistent, nagging cough. The distressing feeling of wheezing or being short of breath including often during only minor physical exertion. Lack of energy and poor concentration. Poor sleep & tiredness.


The demoralising feeling to your self esteem and identity of being a slave to something that is so damaging to you. Of not being in control of your thoughts, feelings and actions due to this habit that has control of you.


The stress of smoking always being on the mind and having to plan life & decisions around making sure you’ll be able to have a smoke wherever you are going or whatever you are doing.


Being more emotional or moody.


Frustration from the ongoing turmoil of conflicting thoughts every time you have a cigarette – thoughts of knowing how terrible and damaging this thing is you are doing to yourself conflicting with thoughts of how much you want to smoke.


At times feeling shunned by society and other non-smoking people who may pity you as a smoker and may even think you’re a lesser person because of it.


The underlying feeling of an unhealthy body. A body continuously filled with toxins and chemicals from each cigarette. Having to experience more frequent illness.


Smelling like cigarette smoke all of the time and where all of those who come near you experience this as quite unpleasant.


Increased anxiety and stress levels. The smoking habit increases your levels of anxiety and stress in between cigarettes.


  • Discoloration of teeth and fingernails.
  • Loss of senses of smell and taste.
  • Wrinkling of skin.
  • Dryness and itchiness in eyes.
  • Hand tremors.


Job / Career

Your smoking habit may be limiting your progress in your job or career and hence your level of financial achievement. Employers may see your habit as a hindrance to your productivity and level of self discipline. Smoking can reduce your decision making, concentration and memory abilities.



Smoking limiting your intimacy with your partner due to the smell from your clothes, body and breath. Other people not wanting to come close to you, hug you or be near you because of how you smell. This will be your friends, family and your children (now or in the future). Imagine having those you love not wanting to be near you.


If you are single your smoking habit means that about 80% of other singles will very likely not be interested in a relationship with you.



Children learn by observing and copying. If you smoke around children or may do in the future your smoking behaviour will be influencing them and increasing the chances of them taking up the habit when they are old enough.


Passive smoking

The fact is, passive smoking does kill. Tens of thousands of people die each year due to the effects of passive smoking. Many of these are children. Passive smoking has also been shown to produce increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer in non-smokers.


Below is a summary of an article by Quitline.

“A baby living with people who smoke inside their house and/or car will end up inhaling passive smoke. Inhaling this passive smoke will be the equivalent to the baby having smoked 80 cigarettes by the time of his/her first birthday! Children who are exposed to passive smoke are more likely to develop asthma and have more frequent asthma attacks; have poorer lung function and slower lung growth; have more ear, nose, throat and chest infections; and young babies are more at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death).”



Women who smoke in pregnancy have a higher rate of miscarriage, premature birth and complications of pregnancy and labour. The risk of a low birth weight baby is doubled (US Dept of Health and Human Services). Children exposed to maternal smoking in the womb have a higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). There is a greater risk of damage to the foetus and the chance of giving birth to a healthy baby is reduced.



The toxins of cigarette smoke attack the eggs and ovaries and destroys and damages sperm. Sexual fertility is reduced and the incidence of infertility and impotence is much more prevalent in those who smoke.






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