doctor examining a chest xray

7 Lesser-Known Harms of Smoking


If you’ve finally decided to quit smoking as your new year’s resolution, you’re on the right track. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 480,000 deaths every year are caused by cigarette smoking in the US. The CDC adds that smoking causes 90% of all lung cancer deaths. Aside from the effects on the heart, lungs, and circulation, there are the lesser-known harms done to the body. Here are five of them.

Stomach Cancer and Ulcers

According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, cigarette smoking is found to be associated with gastric or stomach cancer. The act of smoking can cause weakening in the muscle that controls reflux. Smoking is also linked with ulcer issues.

Kidney Cancer

People can have kidney cancer one and a half more times more likely than someone who doesn’t smoke if they use ten cigarettes in one day. Those who smoke 20 cigarettes have twice more chances of developing it.

Skin Aging and Skin Cancer

Smoking affects the skin in multiple ways. Toxins in cigarette smoke damage the collagen and elastin that keep the skin supple. That eventually speeds up aging by showing wrinkles.

Constricted blood vessels is also another effect of smoking. When blood vessels are constricted, blood flow is interrupted, which also speeds up skin aging. It also slows down the healing of wounds.

Skin elasticity is also reduced in smokers. It usually affects the chest area and upper arms, where the skin starts to sag.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. Smokers are 52% more likely to get them. They often appear on the lips of smokers. Quitting reduces your risk of getting cancer by half in just five years.

Weakened Bones

Studies have linked smoking with osteoporosis and bone fracture. There is a direct relationship between tobacco smoking and reduced bone mineral density. Stopping the habit will help limit the bone loss due to smoking. A balanced diet rich with vitamin D and calcium will also help. Weight-bearing exercises help bones grow stronger over time.

Herniated Discs

woman suffering with back pain

Intervertebral discs are the shock absorbers between spines. Nicotine use has been found to cause cell damage. Degenerative discs start with small tears. They heal, and the whole process weakens the disc wall. Over time, this condition could turn into a herniated disc. Aside from quitting, people with this condition can try ozone therapy for their herniated discs.

Impotence in Men

Smoking damages blood vessels, which makes it harder to supply the organ with blood, causing impotence. Smoking can also damage sperm and reduce their count. The act also increases the risk of testicular cancer.

Infertility in Women

Women who smoke have only 72% of the fertility of those who are non-smokers. Aside from this, smoking also increases the risk of cervical cancer.

There are numerous benefits to quitting smoking. The list grows every day because of newly discovered adverse smoking effects. The fact remains that smoking is harmful to the body’s systems. A lot of useful online and offline resources can help you in stopping the habit. This Medical News Today article details how the body recovers and improves after quitting. The changes are placed in a neat timeline. Get inspired, and good luck!

Villa Hope Content Team

Villa Hope Content Team

Scroll to Top