Smoking Harmful to Entire Human Body, Not Just Lungs — Expert

By PrimeNewsGhana
Human Body

Smoking harms organs throughout human body, not just lungs as such related diseases as emphysema and lung cancer are among the leading causes of death among smokers, medical expert Maria Ocampo has said.

The Coordinator of the Clinic Against Tobacco and Other Addictive Substances at the General Hospital of Mexico said this in an interview with Xinhua.

May 31 marks the World No Tobacco Day designated by the WHO.

“There isn’t a single body organ or system that isn’t affected by smoking because it has to do with oxygen, and we can do everything except stopping breathing,” said Ms Ocampo.

When you smoke, “your red blood cells stop transporting oxygen because they are transporting carbon monoxide (CO), which adheres more easily to the red blood cells, and you begin to have bad blood circulation towards the whole body, the brain, arms and legs,” explained Ms Ocampo.

“That’s why we see smokers with purple lips and very red hands. It’s the lack of oxygen,” she said.

The combination of the two, coupled with a smoker’s higher cholesterol level, lead to cardiovascular diseases.

Women smokers are also more likely to get cervical and breast cancers, and “their skin ages quicker,” while among male smokers, “there is a greater predisposition for prostate and bladder cancers,” she said.

She said the good news is that from the moment a smoker quits smoking, his body begins to feel the benefits.

“The first thing that happens is that there is more oxygen (and) the detoxification begins.”

The expert noted that for smokers trying to quit tobacco addiction, it is also important to have a healthier lifestyle, including “drinking more water, sleeping better, exercising and seeking recreational activities that are not linked to smoking.”

She added that quitting aids such as e-cigarette or vaporizer also contain harmful chemicals or directly damage the lungs.