You’re probably already aware that smoking cigarettes carry a huge risk of getting lung cancer. That’s not a secret, and it’s likely the one condition everyone cites when they tell you not to start smoking. However, there are many other lesser-known health risks of smoking that include the top 10 listed here.
This wouldn’t have been a known risk before this past year, but studies have shown that people who smoke, especially young people, are at a higher risk of getting coronavirus. This is likely because smokers are more vulnerable to respiratory conditions than non-smokers.
Women who smoke have a higher rate of ectopic pregnancies. This is a condition in which a fertilized egg implants itself in a place other than the uterus. The pregnancy cannot survive, and the mother’s life can be jeopardized.
Type 2 Diabetes
Smoking increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by making it more difficult to produce and regulate insulin. Moreover, smoking also makes the potential complications of diabetes worse. This includes poor circulation in the feet and legs. Many times, people with type 2 diabetes end up requiring a lower limb amputation.
Smokers who are morbidly overweight are more likely to have metabolism disorders than non-smokers. This can affect how the body processes and uses prescription drugs, either making doses less effective or dangerously high.
If you smoke, you’re at a higher risk of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that is characterized by the deterioration of the irises in your eyes. Eventually, this progressive eye disease does cause blindness.
People who smoke have an increased rate of bone loss, which contributes to weaker bones. Weaker bones are at a higher risk of fractures, including hip and leg fractures that can put you out of commission for weeks, if not months. We normally lose bone density as we age anyway, but there’s no need to speed it up by smoking.
Smoking is a direct cause of rheumatoid arthritis, which is characterized by painful joint swelling, bone loss, and deformed joints. It is more common in women, and smoking can cause the disease to develop much earlier, as this is typically a condition that doesn’t develop until well into old age.
Smoking is a contributing factor to infertility in women. The chemicals in cigarettes increase the rate at which eggs die, and once they die, they cannot be fertilized. Therefore, the conception window each month is significantly shortened. Moreover, in men, smoking can cause erectile dysfunction and decrease the quality of sperm. Essentially, if you’re trying to get pregnant, whether you’re female or male, smoking should be off-limits.
Since smoking reduces blood flow to all areas of the body, your mouth is just as susceptible to the dangers of cigarettes as other parts of your body. The lack of blood flow in your mouth leads to the loss of bone, which then leads to the loss of teeth. Not only that, but the nicotine discolours your teeth, making them look brown or even decayed.