Some health conditions are hereditary and cannot be controlled or prevented. Others occur naturally as a result of the changes that happen in our bodies over time. However, many serious health conditions facing Americans are a direct result of unhealthy habits and lifestyle choices. And smoking is among the most common and damaging of these habits. Even e-cigarettes, introduced in recent years to provide a “healthy” alternative to smoking cigarettes, come with their own unique risks to a person’s health and wellbeing. Our healthcare providers wanted to discuss the dangers these products pose to help inform our readers.
It should be no surprise to discover that smoking cigarettes can have a litany of negative affects on a person’s health over time. But just how damaging smoking is may surprise people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the US. And while it is commonly associated with lung cancer and heart disease, the truth is that cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and can lead to many diseases including cancer in nearly every area of the body.
Although initially hailed as a less harmful alternative to smoking, or even a means to help smokers gradually quit, e-cigarettes and vaping are not healthy by any means. For starters, e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, the highly addictive substance found in traditional cigarettes. Nicotine forces the blood vessels to constrict and raises a person’s blood pressure, leading to a higher risk of heart disease including heart attack and stroke. Earlier this year, the CDC confirmed lung injury resulting from e-cigarettes or vaping contributed to 60 deaths in the US.
In addition to these health effects, people who smoke or use e-cigarettes are also more susceptible to COVID-19. Smoking can also negatively affect a person’s immune system, and people with compromised immune systems are far more likely to experience serious health complications if infected with COVID-19. Experts believe that this is likely due to changes in the body’s ability to fight off an infection due to potential damage to immune cells.
We understand that it can be challenging for long-time smokers to quit. That’s why we are here to help. Our healthcare providers have experience assisting patients who wish to quit smoking by focusing on prevention, avoiding triggers that lead to smoking, and prescribing medications meant to aid smokers. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers today, please contact Family Practice Center. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, and so much more.