Smoking is the major cause of premature death that is preventable in the United States. Although the smoking rate has declined in the country, it is estimated that it causes approximately 480,000 deaths each year. Smoking can affect every organ in the body.
Some of the physical health consequences of smoking include
1. Can cause cancer
Although weed and nicotine do not cause cancer, at least 69 chemicals in tobacco and marijuana smoke are carcinogenic. According to a 2014 journal, smoking directly accounts for at least 30% of all cancer-related deaths. The overall cancer death rate among smokers is twice that of non-smokers. Furthermore, heavy smokers have four times the risk of dying from cancer than non-smokers.
Smoking is associated with approximately 80% to 90% of lung cancer cases. Lung cancer is the main cause of cancer fatalities in both men and women. Moreover, smoking is also associated with mouth cancer, laryngeal cancer, pharyngeal cancer, stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and acute myeloid cancer.
2. Can increase the risk of heart disease
Smoking can increase the risk of contracting heart disease, including heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and vascular disease. Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for a majority of deaths that are directly linked with smoking.
3. Can lead to poor birth outcomes
Smoking is very common in expectant mothers. Unfortunately, smoking during pregnancy is associated with a variety of adverse childbirth outcomes, including:
- low birth weight and premature birth
- head growth restriction
- placental problems
- increased risk of stillbirth
- increased risk of miscarriage
Furthermore, prenatal exposure to smoke can cause some physical health consequences to the unborn child, including
- impaired lung function
- persistent wheezing
4. Can affect the body’s emotional and cognitive stability
Unfortunately, many young adolescents in the world are smoking. According to a 2017 survey, many 12th, 10th, and 8th graders frequently smoke cigarettes and joints. Exposure of young people to any nicotine amounts is worthy of attention. The adolescent brain is still developing, and nicotine has an impact on the brain’s reward system and brain areas involved in emotion and cognitive functions.
Are e-cigarettes/ vaporizers healthier than smoking?
E-cigarettes appeared in the US market in 2007, and since then their popularity has grown rapidly. An e-cigarette or the best portable vaporizer is a device that heats a liquid that contains solvents and flavors, usually flavored nicotine or cannabis extracts such as CBD and THC. The E-cigarette/ vaporizer user inhales the vapor produced. These e-cigarettes exist in a variety of designs to choose from. Some designs mimic the appearance of traditional cigarettes. Moreover, there are more than 7,000 flavors of e-cigarettes to choose from. All these features make E-cigarettes and vaporizers particularly attractive to young people.
Nonetheless, a majority of e-cigarette users are previous smokers. Many people use vaporizer devices to help them quit smoking.
Based on the available evidence, neither smoking nor vaping is entirely safe. However, vaping tends to be healthier than smoking. Since vaping does not involve combustion, it eliminates many carcinogens and toxic chemicals that are released due to combustion when smoking.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, a person who smokes inhales almost 7000 chemicals. Also, they note that this figure is lower for a person using an e-cigarette or a vaporizer.
The American Heart Association (AHA) also notes that the e-liquids and concentrates used in e-cigarettes and vaporizers contain fewer contaminants than traditional cigarettes. They also note that using e-cigarettes may be unsafe due to the following reasons:
- Some E-cigarettes contain large amounts of nicotine that can slow the brain development of fetuses, children, and adolescents.
- If swallowed, inhaled, or put into an evaporator, the vapor-producing liquid can be dangerous for adults and children. It also produces various hazardous chemicals such as diacetyl, carcinogenic chemicals, and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
- The use of steam can normalize smoking again.
Moreover, the safety degree of a wax pen varies from one brand to another. Some brands use medical-grade and food-grade materials on their vapor paths, which minimizes the chances of releasing carcinogens and other toxic substances into the vapor to be inhaled. Also, some vape juices are tested and verified, by a third-party lab, for safety, purity, potency, and consistency.
Quitting smoking can offer immediate health benefits and can increase one’s life expectancy depending on the age at which he or she quits. Otherwise, smoking is a major cause of many physical health consequences, some of which are fatal.
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