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This Month In Health
  • Hear This!
    Find yourself turning up the volume, straining to hear when talking on the phone, or watching people’s lips as they speak? If so, you may be dealing with hearing loss. Keep reading to learn if there’s a treatment that will work for you. Read >>
  • A Burning Heart
    Some people deal only with occasional heart burn or acid indigestion in response to certain foods, while others suffer from a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD. What causes GERD and could it be the explanation for your pain and discomfort? If so, how is it best treated? Read >>
  • From Head to Toe
    You may have tried to quit in the past or maybe you’re thinking about quitting. If you need another reason to quit, keep reading to learn what the toxins in cigarettes are doing to your body, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Read >>
  • A Cry for Help
    Every 40 seconds someone dies of suicide, yet countless others fail in their attempts. As suicide rates are on the rise, it’s important to know what moods, behaviors, talk, and risk factors to watch for in your loved ones. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

From Head to Toe

When it comes to your health, smoking is anything but harmless.

Don’t ever think it’s too late to quit. You may have been a chain smoker since a teenager, but ending the habit today will begin the healing process. It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health. Cigarette packs in the United States are required by law to display warnings from the Surgeon General, one of which says, “Smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy.” And another reads, “Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.” And yet, because of its addictive nature, people continue to inhale the poison, day in and day out.

You may have tried to quit in the past or maybe you’re thinking about quitting. If you need another reason to quit, keep reading to learn what the toxins in cigarettes are doing to your body, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.

Muscles and Bones

Smoking reduces blood flow to your muscles, making them weak, tired, and achy. It’s hard to build new muscle or maintain strong muscles with a constant flow of smoke.

Smokers are also prone to brittle bones. Bone tissue deteriorates and bone density is lost when you smoke. Broken bones happen more frequently for smokers, and it takes longer for those broken bones to heal and become whole again.


People who smoke have bigger bellies. Extra weight around the middle is the most dangerous way to carry fat, putting you at an increased risk for heart disease, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Once a smoker has diabetes, it’s harder to control the dangerous disease. Diabetes puts you at risk for heart, kidney, and eye problems.

Lungs and Respiratory System

Your lungs are perhaps the hardest hit. Besides putting you at risk for lung cancer, inhalation of cigarette toxins leads to inflammation in your airways and lung tissue, causing chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Over time this inflammation leads to scar tissue, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
Continue the habit and air sacs are destroyed and emphysema develops. As the small hairs lining of your airways are damaged, respiratory infections are common.

Heart and Circulatory System

The effects of smoking place great strain on your heart. Because smoking increases blood pressure, makes blood sticky, raises cholesterol, and reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, your heart has to work overtime to effectively pump blood to your body. This extra stress weakens your heart and increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Mouth, Eyes, and Ears

Months, years, and decades of smoking take a toll on the health of your mouth. Dentists can easily tell a smoker from a non-smoker by the look of your teeth. Smokers deal with more cavities, gum disease, mouth ulcers, and loss of teeth, as well as mouth and throat cancers.

The tiny, sensitive blood vessels in your eyes and ears aren’t immune to the effects of nicotine. Smokers are at a greater risk for cataracts, macular degeneration, trouble with night vision, and blindness.

Because smoking cuts off oxygen supply to your inner ear organs, you’re at risk for hearing loss.


Place a non-smoker and a smoker of the same age next to each other and it’s easy to tell who smokes because of the way smoking damages the skin. Causing dryness and a lack of elasticity, smoking leads to wrinkles and a dull complexion that add years to your appearance. So if you want to look much older than you are, nothing will make it happen easier than smoking.