Monday, January 13, 2014

Shortterm Results Of Chronic Smoking

Chronic smoking refers to persistent, daily, long-term smoking. Smoking, even as few as one to four cigarettes daily, can have serious long-term and short-term side effects. While long-term effects include increased risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease, short-term effects of smoking can have adverse consequences on your health.

Chronic Smoking

Nicotine in cigarettes acts on the brain and nervous system to create a pleasant sensation that makes the user crave more. Nicotine reaches the brain within seconds after inhaling from a cigarette. However, the effects of smoking are fleeting, often leading smokers to need more puffs and more cigarettes. The user becomes addicted to the positive feelings associated with this nicotine rush, and a casual smoker might become a chronic smoker. If he tries to quit smoking, he generally suffers withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, headaches and insomnia.

Many people believe that smoking just a few cigarettes a day is not a chronic habit, but even this small number of cigarettes can be considered chronic and have serious long- and short-term side effects. The side effects of occasional smoking might be most similar to the side effects and risks associated with secondhand smoke.

Nicotine and the Body

Nicotine in large doses is deadly--it can stop the muscles that allow a person to breath. However, because it is ingested in small doses, it does not have this negative effect on smokers. However, new smokers or smokers who overdose on nicotine might begin to feel ill from smoking. They might experience stomach aches and dizziness.

Even in chronic smokers, nicotine has some immediate effects on the body. It raises the resting heart rate. It also reduces the amount of blood flow to the lower extremities and lowers overall skin temperature.

The immediate effect for chronic smokers is a feeling of alertness. As they continue to smoke the cigarette, these feelings become feelings of calmness or relaxation.

Chemicals in Cigarettes

Each time a smoker inhales a cigarette, they are inhaling benzene, cyanide, formaldehyde, acetlene, ammonia, methanol, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide.

Short -term Effects

The short-term effects of chronic smoking begin immediately upon smoking a cigarette, and are exacerbated by continued cigarette. These short-term effects can include shortness of breath and nagging coughs caused by poorly functioning lungs. Chronic smokers are more generally more easily fatigued than non-smokers, and may tire easily. Finally, smoking a cigarette can cause a reduction in the ability to smell and taste, as well as stained teeth and bad breath. Smoking can also cause the skin to age prematurely and become wrinkled.

Dealing with the Effects

Once you become a chronic smoker, it is difficult to quit. The majority of smokers want to quit. Almost 90 percent of smokers began smoking prior to their 19th birthday.

If you begin experiencing the effects of the short-term damage of smoking, you should consult with your doctor. Some of these effects, such as a persistent cough, could be short-term effects or they might be symptomatic of some of the more long-term health risks of smoking, including lung cancer.

You should alert your doctor to your smoking habit, even if you have quit, so that the proper screening tests for smoking-related illnesses can be done as part of your medical care.

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