No matter how you smoke it, tobacco is dangerous to your health. There are no safe substances in any tobacco products, from acetone and tar to nicotine and carbon monoxide. The substances you inhale don’t just affect your lungs. They can affect your entire body. Smoking can lead to a variety of ongoing complications in the body, as well as long-term effects on your body systems. While smoking can increase your risk of a variety of problems over several years, some of the bodily effects are immediate. Learn more about the symptoms and overall effects of smoking on the body below.
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Smoking can temporarily put you in a good mood, but dependence is common and withdrawal side effects like anxiety and irritability can be challenging to manage. Read More
Tobacco smoke can stick to your clothes and hair. In fact, just being around secondhand smoke can make your hair and clothes smell. Read More
Female smokers tend to enter menopause earlier than nonsmokers. Smoking has also been shown to increase hot flashes. Read More
Smoking can cause future vision problems and increases the risk of eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Read More
Nicotine causes blood vessels to tighten and restrict blood flow, which increases your risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. Read More
Smoking lowers your immune system’s ability to fight off infection. Smokers have more infections of the respiratory tract than people who don’t smoke. Read More
Developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is more common in smokers. In fact, of COPD are due to smoking. Your asthma symptoms can worsen as well. Read More
Tobacco smoke lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol and increases your LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also raises total cholesterol and triglycerides, which are fats in your blood. Read More
Smoking can increase clotting throughout your body. Blood clots increase the risk of heart damage, stroke, and pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs). Read More
Smoking can suppress your appetite by decreasing your sense of taste. This can make eating less enjoyable. Once you stop smoking, you’ll be more likely to taste your food fully again. Read More
Both men and women who smoke are more likely to experience short- and long-term fertility issues than people who don’t smoke. Read More
An erection requires adequate blood flow, but smoking can constrict your blood vessels and make this process more difficult. Read More
When compared to people who don’t smoke, people who do smoke have an increased risk of blood cancer, such as leukemia. Read More
Type 2 diabetes tends to progress more rapidly in people who smoke, because smoking increases the amount of insulin resistance in the body. If you have diabetes and smoke, you’re also at a higher risk for other complications, such as kidney problems, eye problems, and heart attack. Read More
You might find yourself a bit on edge if you missed your cigarette break. Nicotine withdrawal is responsible for these symptoms. Read More
Your sense of smell and taste can be dulled by smoking, which can decrease your appetite. Read More
Yellowish or brownish stains on the teeth are telltale signs of long-term smoking. Smoking also increases your risk for infections or inflammations that can lead to tooth and bone loss. Read More
Smokers have a higher rate of bronchitis. Secondhand smoking can also increase your risk for bronchitis, especially in children. Other respiratory problems such as tuberculosis and pneumonia may worsen by smoking. Read More
Smoking puts you at a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer. Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to smoking, according to the . It’s also the most common cause of cancer death in both men and women. Read More
You know the infamous term “smoker’s cough”? This is where it comes from. Damage to the airways contributes to this cough. Read More
Smoking is one of the well-proven lifestyle habits that contribute to heart disease. Both people who smoke and those who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are at higher risk for heart attacks.Read More
The risk for developing cervical cancer is increased in women who smoke. Read More
Handling tobacco products can stain your fingers and fingernails, turning them yellow.Read More
Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk for miscarriage, asthma, ear infections, and death in your newborn. It also puts the baby at risk for oxygen deprivation, growth problems, physical deformities, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Read More
Smoking-related cancers can occur anywhere in the body. People who smoke have a higher rate of certain cancers, including cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, and kidneys.Read More
Substances in cigarettes can cause dry skin and premature aging. Reduced blood flow also causes your skin to get less nutrition.Read More
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Smoking can temporarily put you in a good mood, but dependence is common and withdrawal side effects like anxiety and irritability can be challenging to manage. Read More
You might find yourself a bit on edge if you missed your cigarette break. Nicotine withdrawal is responsible for these symptoms. Read More
Tobacco smoke can stick to your clothes and hair. In fact, just being around secondhand smoke can make your hair and clothes smell. Read More
Female smokers tend to enter menopause earlier than nonsmokers. Smoking has also been shown to increase hot flashes. Read More
Smoking can cause future vision problems and increases the risk of eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Read More
Your sense of smell and taste can be dulled by smoking, which can decrease your appetite. Read More
Yellowish or brownish stains on the teeth are telltale signs of long-term smoking. Smoking also increases your risk for infections or inflammations that can lead to tooth and bone loss. Read More
Smokers have a higher rate of bronchitis. Secondhand smoking can also increase your risk for bronchitis, especially in children. Other respiratory problems such as tuberculosis and pneumonia may worsen by smoking. Read More
Smoking puts you at a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer. Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to smoking, according to the . It’s also the most common cause of cancer death in both men and women. Read More
You know the infamous term “smoker’s cough”? This is where it comes from. Damage to the airways contributes to this cough. Read More
Tobacco smoke lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol and increases your LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also raises total cholesterol and triglycerides, which are fats in your blood. Read More
Smoking lowers your immune system’s ability to fight off infection. Smokers have more infections of the respiratory tract than people who don’t smoke. Read More
Smoking is one of the well-proven lifestyle habits that contribute to heart disease. Both people who smoke and those who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are at higher risk for heart attacks. Read More
Nicotine causes blood vessels to tighten and restrict blood flow, which increases your risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. Read More
Smoking can increase clotting throughout your body. Blood clots increase the risk of heart damage, stroke, and pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs). Read More
Developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is more common in smokers. In fact, of COPD are due to smoking. Your asthma symptoms can worsen as well.Read More
Smoking can suppress your appetite by decreasing your sense of taste. This can make eating less enjoyable. Once you stop smoking, you’ll be more likely to taste your food fully again. Read More
Handling tobacco products can stain your fingers and fingernails, turning them yellow. Read More
The risk for developing cervical cancer is increased in women who smoke. Read More
An erection requires adequate blood flow, but smoking can constrict your blood vessels and make this process more difficult. Read More
Smoking-related cancers can occur anywhere in the body. People who smoke have a higher rate of certain cancers, including cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, and kidneys. Read More
Both men and women who smoke are more likely to experience short- and long-term fertility issues than people who don’t smoke. Read More
Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk for miscarriage, asthma, ear infections, and death in your newborn. It also puts the baby at risk for oxygen deprivation, growth problems, physical deformities, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Read More
When compared to people who don’t smoke, people who do smoke have an increased risk of blood cancer, such as leukemia. Read More
Type 2 diabetes tends to progress more rapidly in people who smoke, because smoking increases the amount of insulin resistance in the body. If you have diabetes and smoke, you’re also at a higher risk for other complications, such as kidney problems, eye problems, and heart attack. Read More
Substances in cigarettes can cause dry skin and premature aging. Reduced blood flow also causes your skin to get less nutrition. Read More
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mood stimulation
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arrow
anxiety and irritability
Line2
arrow
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arrow
early menopause
Line4
arrow
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arrow
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bronchitis
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lung cancer
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persistent coughing
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immune system
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heart disease
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constricted blood vessels
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blood clotting
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COPD
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loss of appetite
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erectile dysfunction
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cancer connection
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infertility
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problems with pregnancy and newborns
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increased risk of blood cancer
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diabetes complications
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Tobacco smoke is incredibly harmful to your health. There’s no safe way to smoke. Replacing your cigarette with a cigar, pipe, or hookah won’t help you avoid the health risks. Cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients, many of which can also be found in cigars and hookahs. When these ingredients burn, they generate more than 7,000 chemicals, according to the . Many of those chemicals are poisonous and at least 69 of them are linked to cancer. In the United States, the mortality rate for smokers is that of people who never smoked. In fact, the says that smoking is the most common "preventable cause of death" in the United States. While the effects of smoking may not be immediate, the complications and damage can last for years. The good news is that quitting smoking can reverse many effects.
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Central nervous system

One of the ingredients in tobacco is a mood-altering drug called nicotine. Nicotine reaches your brain in mere seconds and makes you feel more energized for a while. But as that effect wears off, you feel tired and crave more. Nicotine is extremely habit-forming, which is why people find smoking so difficult to quit. Physical withdrawal from nicotine can impair your cognitive functioning and make you feel anxious, irritated, and depressed. Withdrawal can also cause headaches and sleep problems.
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Respiratory system

When you inhale smoke, you’re taking in substances that can damage your lungs. Over time, this damage leads to a variety of problems. Along with increased infections, people who smoke are at higher risk for chronic nonreversible lung conditions such as: Withdrawal from tobacco products can cause temporary congestion and respiratory discomfort as your lungs and airways begin to heal. Increased mucus production right after quitting smoking is a positive sign that your respiratory system is recovering. Children whose parents smoke are more prone to coughing, wheezing, and asthma attacks than children whose parents don’t. They also tend to have higher rates of pneumonia and bronchitis.
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Cardiovascular system

Smoking damages your entire cardiovascular system. Nicotine causes blood vessels to tighten, which restricts the flow of blood. Over time, the ongoing narrowing, along with damage to the blood vessels, can cause peripheral artery disease. Smoking also raises blood pressure, weakens blood vessel walls, and increases blood clots. Together, this raises your risk of stroke. You’re also at an increased risk of worsening heart disease if you’ve already had heart bypass surgery, a heart attack, or a stent placed in a blood vessel. Smoking not only impacts your cardiovascular health, but also the health of those around you who don’t smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke carries the same risk to a nonsmoker as someone who does smoke. Risks include stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
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Integumentary system (skin, hair, and nails)

The more obvious signs of smoking involve skin changes. Substances in tobacco smoke actually change the structure of your skin. A recent study has shown that smoking dramatically increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer). Your fingernails and toenails aren’t immune from the effects of smoking. Smoking increases the likelihood of fungal nail infections. Hair is also affected by nicotine. it increases hair loss, balding, and graying.
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Digestive system

Smoking increases the risk of mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus cancer. Smokers also have higher rates of pancreatic cancer. Even people who “smoke but don’t inhale” face an increased risk of mouth cancer. Smoking also has an effect on insulin, making it more likely that you’ll develop insulin resistance. That puts you at increased risk of type 2 diabetes and its complications, which tend to develop at a faster rate than in people who don’t smoke.
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Sexuality and reproductive system

Nicotine affects blood flow to the genital areas of both men and women. For men, this can decrease sexual performance. For women, this can result in sexual dissatisfaction by decreasing lubrication and the ability to reach orgasm. Smoking may also lower sex hormone levels in both men and women. This can possibly lead to decreased sexual desire.
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Takeaway

Quitting smoking is difficult, but your doctor can help you make a plan. Ask them for advice. There are a variety of nonprescription and prescription medications that can help you quit. You can also turn to our smoking cessation resource center, which has advice, stories from others, and more. There are both short and long-term benefits to quitting smoking. Since smoking affects every body system, finding a way to quit is the most important step you can take to living a longer and happier life.