10 harmful effects of tobacco smoking on human body

Last updated on October 13th, 2022 at 12:31 pm


Tobacco smoking has some harmful effects on the entire human organs, which may not be immediate, the complications and damage can last for years,” a health expert says.

The most known effect of cigarettes is lung cancer, but findings by medical experts reveal that tobacco smoking is dangerous to the entire human organs.

It’d be recalled that on May 31, which was set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as World No Tobacco Day, the coordinator of the Clinic Against Tobacco and Other Addictive Substances at the General Hospital of Mexico, Maria Ocampo, said smoking cause damages to all parts of the body.


Harmful effects of tobacco smoking on the human body

“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 Ocampo.

Going by this, here are some of the harmful effects of smoking on the smoker’s organs

Effect on the reproductive system

Smoking has been found to lower sexual performance in both men and women because nicotine affects blood flow to the genital areas.

Women smokers will begin to experience sexual dissatisfaction because there will be a decrease in lubrication and the ability to reach sensation will be difficult.

Its effects on the cardiovascular system

Smoking hinders the free flow of blood to the entire body, the smoker’s red blood cells stop transporting oxygen because it’s transporting carbon monoxide (CO).

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

Continuous poor flow of blood is said to cause damage to the blood vessels, which can “cause peripheral artery disease.”

“Heart ailments are the diseases that predominate among smokers,” she said.

harmful effects of tobacco smoking to human body
Photo credit: channelstv

Effect on the digestive system

Medical researchers have also pointed out that smokers are at risk of mouth, throat, larynx, and oesophagus cancer. They also have higher rates of pancreatic cancer, research says.

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Cervical and breast cancers

Tobacco smoking among women causes cervical and breast cancers and “their skin ages quicker.” While men smokers are prone to prostate and bladder cancers she said.

Insulin resistance

Another harmful effect of smoking is insulin resistance, which can put you at risk of type 2 diabetes and its complications, which is said to develop at a faster rate than in people who don’t smoke.

Insulin regulates how the body uses and stores glucose and fat. Many of the body’s cells rely on insulin to take glucose from the blood for energy,” says diabetes.co.uk,  however smoking may hinder insulin from performing its role in the body system.

High risk of stroke

Your continuous smoking of tobacco will make you have high blood pressure, and weaken your blood vessel walls, the two effects put together can expose you to stroke.

You’re also at an increased risk of worsening heart disease if you’ve already had heart bypass surgery, a heart attack, or a stent placed in a blood vessel,” healthline.com says.

Effect on the skin, hair, and nails

There are harmful substances in tobacco that cause noticeable changes in your skin, particularly your hair and nails.

Recent research reveals that smoking dramatically increases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, which is known as skin cancer.

Continuous tobacco smoking will quicken your chances of hair loss and increases your chances of balding and greying.

Not just that, your fingernails and toenails will also be affected negatively, it increases the likelihood of fungal nail infections.

Nicotine in tobacco and its harmful effects on your body

Tobacco contains nicotine, which gives you ephemeral energy and when it begins to wear off you feel tired and you begin to ask for more. This is one of the reasons smokers find it extremely difficult to stop smoking.

“I find it difficult to sleep unless I take at least two sticks of cigarette,” a smoker confessed recently.

When you don’t sleep well there is a likelihood you begin to have headaches.

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So smoking causes a sudden change in your entire body system.

Effect on the respiratory system

Smoke contains substances that can damage your lungs. Some of the problems you should prepare for include: emphysema (the destruction of the air sacs in your lungs); chronic bronchitis (permanent inflammation that affects the lining of the breathing tubes of the lungs) etc.

Other effects of smoking include:

  • Peptic ulcer
  • Oral cavity cancer
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Larynx cancer

Is there any alternative to tobacco smoking?

Smoking doesn’t have any alternative. The best alternative to smoking is to stop it.

Replacing your cigarette with a cigar, pipe, or hookah won’t help you avoid the health risks,” healthline says. This means that the smoke itself is harmful to your entire body.

Research shows that cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients, many of which can also be found in cigars and hookahs.

The ingredients  generate more than 7,000 chemicals, according to the American Lung Association, which are found to be poisonous and at least 69 of them are linked to cancer.

Why smokers are prone to cancer?

Carbon monoxide from cigarettes carries between 4,000 and 7,000 chemical compounds, more than 60 of them are said to be carcinogenic.

Substances and exposures that can lead to cancer are called carcinogens.

According to cancer.org, “some carcinogens do not affect DNA directly, but lead to cancer in other ways. For example, they may cause cells to divide at a faster than normal rate, which could increase the chances that DNA changes will occur.

How to quit tobacco smoking

It may be challenging to quit what has literally become part of your lifestyle within a month, but the advantages of your NO TO TOBACCO SMOKING will save you from most of the damages you are deliberately causing your entire body organs.

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Dr. Maria Ocampo 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.” Quitting smoking will also mean you will have to begin to have a healthier lifestyle.

“Withdrawal from tobacco products can cause temporary congestion and respiratory discomfort as your lungs and airways begin to heal. Increased mucus production right after quitting smoking is a positive sign that your respiratory system is recovering,” healthline research says.

Some of them include: drinking more water, sleeping better, exercising and seeking recreational activities that are not linked to smoking.

Quitting aids such as e-cigarettes or vaporizers also “contain harmful chemicals or directly damage the lungs,” experts say.

Final thought:

Quitting smoking may be difficult, but you can quit if you are ready to because there are both short and long-term benefits to quitting smoking. Since smoking affects every body system, finding a way to quit is the most important step you can take to living a longer and happier life.

You’re free to share this post with your family and friends, smokers and nonsmokers (who live with smokers or inhale smoke are also prone to some of the effects of tobacco or cigarette smoking).

Share your thoughts with us:

Have you quit smoking? What’s the experience like? Share your thoughts with us.


  1. Smoking effects on body: healthline.com/health/smoking/effects-on-body#2
  2. Insulin: diabetes.co.uk/body/insulin.html

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