It’s true that smoking has been under debate for decades now, and over the years we have learned the multiple side effects and disadvantages of smoking, but at the same time, it’s true that the number of smokers has not gone down; on the contrary, there are more and more people smoking, and starting at even younger ages due to peer pressure and the desire to fit in. Children are just as exposed to smoking as adults are; selling cigarettes is not as well regulated as it should be, and even if most stores claim they won’t sell to minors, they actually do. Tobacco companies claiming they invest in ads that turn kids away from smoking are only using these media to make smoking attractive to youngsters, and it has also been proven that companies add more and more addictive substances to their cigarettes.
Nicotine or Additives?
Thus, if you’re willing to start smoking, you should at least know what you’re getting into. For instance, nicotine is not as addictive as the other substances put in cigarettes, and which are also more harmful for the health. And if you are still willing to smoke after knowing the side effects, you could at least try to opt for natural tobacco leaves without harmful additives. Pouch tobacco that you roll yourself can be a bit less harmful, but there are other options you can explore as well. However, once you start smoking, you have a responsibility to yourself to know the risks you are exposed to; they may at least convince you to stop sooner, or to keep smoking as a social gesture, to accompany a glass of wine or whiskey in the company of friends.
The Greater Risks
Some of the health risks posed by smoking are more dangerous, and other less so. The great health dangers you are exposed to when smoking are related to the respiratory system, so you risk getting lung or throat cancer. There is also an increased risk for brain damage and/or strokes, but smoking also affects your eyes and vision. Smoking can lead to cataracts, a yellowing of the whites of the eye, and macular degeneration. You also risk cancer of the mouth, lips, tongue and nose, you can develop asthma or emphysema, cancers and ulcers of the stomach, myeloid leukemia, heart attacks and other heart diseases, chronic bronchitis and more. And let it be understood: you can contract or develop many of these afflictions at a time, depending on how susceptible your organism is.
Other Health Problems
Although it doesn’t threaten your life directly, impotence or erectile dysfunction and reduced sperm count are other side effects of smoking that affect men. The effects are not immediate or easily visible, so you can expect a slow but downward slope in your performance. Women can also suffer irregular periods, earlier menopause, lowered fertility and a risk of miscarriage in case of pregnancy. But there are many, many more side effects of smoking tobacco, such as a decrease of metabolism and immunity system, a slower rate of healing wounds, early and permanent wrinkles, osteoporosis, decreased appetite and gray-looking skin, loss of taste and smell, and so on.