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While most people know that smoking cigarettes damages their health, you may
not realize just how far reaching the damaging effects of smoking are.
Smoking not only increases your risk of serious diseases such as cancer,
heart disease, stroke and lung disease, but it can also contribute to
cosmetic problems such as wrinkles and discolored teeth.

1. Eyes
The risk of developing cataracts is 2-3 times higher among smokers compared
with non-smokers. Cataracts are one of the most common causes of visual
impairment among Australians. Smoking is also the major preventable cause of
macular degeneration, a condition which causes blurred central vision.

2. Ears
Some studies have found that people who smoke are more susceptible to
hearing loss due to ear infections and loud noise. Smokers may also be more
likely to lose their hearing earlier. This is due to the damaging effects of
smoking on blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to the inner ear.
Also, smoking around children can increase their risk of ear infections.

3. Nose
Smoking can reduce your sense of smell and cause cancer of your nasal cavity
and nasal sinus.

4. Mouth and teeth
There are a number of effects of smoking on oral and dental health,
including yellow discoloration of teeth, tooth decay, bad breath and gum
disease. Both smoking and chewing tobacco can cause mouth cancer (including
cancer of the lip and tongue). Smoking may also affect your sense of taste.

5. Brain
Smoking is a major cause of stroke, causing about 40 per cent of all strokes
in people under the age of 65 years. The good news is that if you stop
smoking, you have the same risk of stroke as a non-smoker after 5-15 years.

6. Throat
Smoking can cause cancer of the throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), and
food pipe (oesophagus). At least 50 per cent of these cancers are caused by

7. Skin
Smokers' skin often has a dry, irritated, discolored, leathery, or worn
appearance. Wrinkles, especially around the eyes and mouth, develop sooner
and are more pronounced in people who smoke compared with non-smokers.
Smoking may also increase your risk of skin cancer.

Many smokers develop yellow discoloration of their hands and fingernails due
to the tar in cigarettes.

8. Lungs
As you would expect, smoking damages the lungs. Smoking can increase your
risk of developing respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia,
as well as put you at risk of more long-term serious diseases, such as
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer.

COPD, a term used to encompass both chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a
consequence of long-term exposure to cigarette smoke and is a progressive
disease. Nearly all cases of COPD in Australia are caused by smoking. People
with COPD have a persistent cough and difficulty breathing due to
irreversible lung damage.

Lung cancer is the most common smoking-related cancer, and more than 80 per
cent of lung cancers are caused by smoking. Among smokers, the risk of
developing lung cancer is 23 times higher for men and 13 times higher for
women compared with non-smokers.

9. Heart
Smoking increases your risk of coronary heart disease. In fact, the risk of
dying of coronary heart disease is 70 per cent higher for smokers than for
non-smokers, and the risk of having a heart attack is 2-6 times higher in
smokers compared with non-smokers.

Smoking-related coronary heart disease can contribute to heart failure, and
smoking is also associated with sudden cardiac death. But it's good to know
that if you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops dramatically
after just 12 months.

10. Stomach
Smoking increases your risk of developing a stomach ulcer and stomach
cancer. You are also more likely to have problems with heartburn if you are
a smoker.

11. Arteries
Smoking raises blood pressure, and is a major risk factor for the disease
known as arteriosclerosis, which causes narrowing and stiffening of the
blood vessels.

Complications of arteriosclerosis include: heart attack; stroke; erectile
dysfunction (impotence); and peripheral vascular disease (decreased blood
flow to the legs that causes leg pain during exercise and, in advanced
cases, may need to be treated with amputation).

12. Gastrointestinal system
Studies have shown that bowel, rectal and liver cancers are all more common
in people who smoke. Cancer of the pancreas can also be caused by smoking.

Smoking can also affect your liver, reducing its ability to process alcohol,
medications and toxins.

13. Kidney and bladder
Smoking is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer of the
kidney and bladder.

14. Reproductive system
Smoking increases the risk of cervical cancer in women, and may be
associated with an increased risk of erectile dysfunction (getting or
maintaining an erection) in men.

Women who smoke may have more trouble getting pregnant than non-smokers.
This is especially true if their partner is also a smoker, because smoking
can reduce a man's sperm count. Smoking during pregnancy can increase your
risk of miscarriage, pregnancy complications, and premature delivery.
Smoking during pregnancy also increases your baby's risk of sudden infant
death syndrome (SIDS).

15. Bones
Smoking contributes to the reduction in bone density among women who have
been through menopause, and increases the risk of hip fracture in both older
men and women.

Acute myeloid leukemia, which is a type of cancer of the bone marrow, has
recently been found to be strongly associated with smoking.


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