More than lung cancer
You know cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease. You know it yellows your teeth. You know it wrinkles your skin, stains your fingers, and reduces your sense of smell and taste.
However, you still haven’t managed to quit. Well, just in case you can still be persuaded, here are seven more not-so-fun things you could get from smoking that you might not have known about.
Smoking doesn’t directly cause this itchy, plaque-skin autoimmune disorder. However, there are two things that researchers know for certain about psoriasis: First, it has a genetic link. Second, smoking tobacco more than doubles the likelihood of developing psoriasis among those who carry the gene, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
You might have heard of gangrene. It occurs when tissue in your body decomposes, and it results in unpleasant smells. When an extremity gets critically insufficient blood supply, it leads to gangrene. Long-term smoking does that by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow.
In the same way that regular, long-term smoking constricts blood vessels to cause gangrene, it can cut off blood supply to male genitalia. Think Viagra or Cialis will work? Not so. The chemical reactions in the body that occur as a response to smoking render most erectile dysfunction (ED) medication useless.
While your blood vessels are responding to carcinogens, they could also shoot a dangerous blood clot up to your brain. If the blood clot isn’t fatal, it might still leave you with serious brain damage. Learn more about strokes.
Degenerative disk disease
Our spines weren’t meant to last forever, and smoking speeds up the degeneration process. The discs between your vertebrae lose fluid and become unable to properly protect and support the vertebrae, leaving you with chronic back pain, herniated disks, and possibly osteoarthritis (OA).
You’ve heard about lung cancer — it’s usually the first thing people mention when giving you reasons to quit smoking. But don’t forget these cancers:
- liver, kidney, or bladder
- lip or mouth
- throat, laryngeal, or esophageal
- stomach or colon
Leukemia is possible, too. Your risk for all of these cancers increases the more you smoke.