Tag Archives: smoking

How Smoking Can Mess With Your Entire Body

Smoking causes nearly half a million deaths in the United States annually. And while most people know that smoking is a leading health hazard, many don’t realize just how many different ways it can adversely affect your health. Let’s take a look at how smoking affects the different systems in your body:

Your Head and Face:

  • Smoking increases your risk of developing oral Cancer. Chewing tobacco further increases this risk.
  • Smoking can lead to tooth loss and gum disease (periodontitis).
  • Increased stroke risk: Smoking can lead to a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels, as well as greatly increase risk of blood clots. Both of these factors combined puts smokers in greater danger of having a stroke.
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts or blindness due to macular degeneration.

Your Lungs:

  • Lung cancer – According to the CDC, smoking causes over 90% of lung cancer deaths. Moreover, even more women are killed by lung cancer than breast cancer.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of life-threatening lung conditions primarily caused by smoking. 80% of COPD deaths are a result of smoking.
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing pneumonia when you catch a viral or bacterial lung infection because your lungs are already compromised by smoke toxins.
  • Smoking can cause general damage to your airways and alveoli because of the influx of harmful chemicals directly to the lungs.

Your Heart:

  • Heart Disease. Smokers have a 2-4 times higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than non-smokers.
  • Smoking puts you at an increased risk of developing an aneurysm or aortic rupture.
  • Smoking can contribute to blockages that can restrict blood flow to the extremities.
  • Smoking spikes adrenaline levels in your blood steam which can cause tachycardia, making your heart work harder than it has to.

Your Stomach:

  • Smoking can lead to different types of cancer of the digestive tract such as colorectal, esophageal or larynx cancers.
  • Smoking can worsen pre-existing gastrointestinal conditions such as GERD.
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing intestinal complications such as gallstones, ulcers or polyps.

Your Reproductive Organs:

  • Smoking can reduced fertility in both males and females.
  • It can also lead to impotence in men.
  • An Ectopic pregnancy can occur in women who were smokers around the time of getting pregnant or continue to smoke throughout the pregnancy.
  • Smoking can lead to a miscarriage or increased risk of SIDS death in babies exposed to smoke in the womb or to second hand smoke after birth.

Your Circulatory System:

  • Smoking can lead to thickened blood vessels, causing them to narrow so blood can’t flow efficiently. This can lead to hypertension or blood clots.
  • Smoking damages blood cells.

Your Immune System:

  • Smoking can cause decreased immune function and general inflammation in the body.
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing certain autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • You are more likely to develop Crohn’s disease if you are a smoker.

Your Pancreas:

  • Smoking is a lead contributor to type 2 diabetes and diabetes mellitus because it increases blood sugar levels, leading to insulin resistance.
  • Pancreatic cancer is more likely to develop in those who smoke.

Your Bones and Joints:

  • Smoking lowers estrogen levels in the body which can lead to early osteoporosis.
  • Smoking can weaken your bones in general, which can contribute to easy fractures.

These aren’t even all the problems smoking can cause. Second hand, or passive smoking, can cause many of these health problems as well. It is particularly dangerous to children and can lead to stunted growth, lung conditions and many more issues. So, do your health (and the health of those around you) a favor and quit smoking today!

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10 Habits to Kick for Your Health (Part 1)

We all have little habits and coping mechanisms that probably aren’t ideal, but it turns out that some of them are actually hazardous to your health. Let’s take a look at a few you should really try to kick if you’re concerned about bettering your health:

  1. Smoking makes every list of bad habits out there, but it is so hard on your body that we simply couldn’t exclude it from ours. Smoking causes over 6 million deaths annually and directly contributes to numerous life-threatening conditions like heart disease, cancer and COPD. Also, each time you put a cigarette to your lips, you’re ingesting over 7000 potentially harmful chemicals!
  2. Nail biting or picking – Some may think of biting your nails as a relatively harmless habit, but it actually can have several adverse effects on your health. The habit may leave you with disfigured nails, damage to your teeth and gums, skin or intestinal infections, and even psychological issues (it is a behavior that has been linked with obsessive compulsive disorder). Because of all the germs your hands come in contact with daily, nail biting also increases your chances of picking up a cold or flu or other type of highly contagious infection (such as impetigo). Eww! Time to quit this one? We think so.
  3. Partying like its always your birthday – the occasional social drink shouldn’t pose any risks to your health (unless you’re on certain medications), but if you partake in binge drinking regularly, you are opening the flood gates for many dangers to your well-being. Some of which include: depression, cirrhosis of the liver, neurological damage, gastrointestinal disorders, cancer or death by alcohol poisoning. So, if you’re a heavy drinker, get your drinking under control today before it starts controlling your health.
  4. Too much screen time – Excess screen time, whether it’s Netflix or social media binge, can be bad for your mental and physical health and social life. Being sedentary for large parts of the day without a break is never good news for your overall health. And many studies also illustrate a strong correlation between excess social media use and depression and anxiety, especially in young people.
  5. Your sugar addiction – We all love a sweet treat – but are your treats becoming more routine than occasional? You may be hooked on the sweet stuff. Eating too much sugar can directly contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic dysfunction (including high blood pressure and cholesterol). Too much sugar will leave destruction in its wake over time, so try to cut down today.
  6. Abnormal sleeping habits – the National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep nightly for adults 18-65 and 7-8 hours for those over 65. Are you getting as much sleep as you should be getting each night? If not, you should recheck your sleeping habits. Perpetually depriving yourself of sleep because of work or social reasons can actually induce insomnia and misalign your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Long-term, this can help contribute to many health issues such as depression, high blood pressure or metabolic disorders. Always going to sleep at strange hours can also wreak havoc on your body and mind.

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming up soon! Thanks for visiting DocChat.



QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About the Dangers of Smoking?

Nowadays, no one can plead ignorance to the fact that smoking is bad news, but do you know just how much damage it can do? Take a look at the statements below – are they true or false? Try to give the quiz a shot before looking at the answers below. You can write “T or F” for each number on a piece of paper and check your answers at the end! No scrolling down!

  1. Smoking causes less than a million deaths every year worldwide.
  2. Smoking increases your risk of developing rheumatic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
  3. Male smokers have a greater chance of developing erectile dysfunction.
  4. Less than 10 million is spent on advertising and promotion of smoking every year.
  5. On average every day over 3000 teens under 18 years of age start smoking.
  6. There are between 100-500 different chemicals in tobacco smoke.
  7. Cigarettes contain arsenic.
  8. Smoking is the 3rd leading cause of preventable death.
  9. Second-hand smoke causes over 40,000 deaths annually.
  10. Smoking mostly affects the mouth and lungs.




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  1. FALSE. Smoking causes over 6 million deaths annually worldwide.
  2. TRUE. Smoking significantly increases your risk of developing rheumatic or certain autoimmune diseases.
  3. TRUE. Studies have established a strong link between smoking and erectile dysfunction.
  4. FALSE. Over 9 billion is spent on smoking promotion and advertising annually.
  5. TRUE. Unfortunately, every day thousands of children and teens pick up their first cigarette.
  6. FALSE. According to the American Lung Association (ALA) there are over 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke!
  7. TRUE. Aside from nicotine, cigarettes contain such other harmful ingredients as arsenic, tar, ammonia and formaldehyde – yuck!
  8. FALSE. Smoking is the number 1 leading cause of preventable death in America.
  9. TRUE. Second-hand smoker is a big killer as well, and can contribute to many chronic diseases such as cancer and lung diseases like COPD.
  10. FALSE. While smoking commonly causes lung issues like COPD and lung cancer, it can negatively affect the whole body, contributing to such ailments as heart disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, blindness and diabetes.


Did you ace the quiz? Hopefully! Thanks for visiting DocChat, if you have any questions about the effects of smoking on the body or about how to quit, our board certified doctors are here 24/7/365 to assist you.

5 Habits That Are Deteriorating Your Health

bad habits

It is never too late to correct bad habits. Our lifestyles are a sum total of our everyday small habits. Learn to recognize these bad habits and work on getting rid of them. These five unhealthiest habits are affecting you negatively:

1. Eating too much fast food

Fast food might seem satisfying in the moment when you are too rushed or exhausted to cook food at home. Grabbing a quick bite to eat is a very convenient option. But in the long run, high consumption of fast food will lead to serious health issues, such as heart problems, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, to name a few. The high fat and sodium content in fast food are the reason for the increased rates of obesity in the developed world. Kick this habit as soon as possible, your future self will thank you.

2. Stressing out about little things

Constant worrying about little things will turn you into a perpetual worry machine. It will cause your anxiety levels to rise, as a torrent of stress hormones floods the body. Stress will affect your immune system and vital organs. Try meditation and therapy if you find yourself worrying frequently.

3. Skipping breakfast

Skipping the morning meal will cause your energy levels to plummet during the day. You will feel less productive and fatigued as the day goes by. You will create a cycle of starve-overindulge in your eating pattern. The healthiest thing for your body is to have a low fat, fiber rich breakfast every day.

4. Drinking too much alcohol

If you tend to overindulge in alcohol frequently you can be causing harm to your body. Alcohol will increase your risk of liver cancer, high blood pressure, and depression. The physical and mental toll of alcoholism is heavy and must be avoided, drinking in moderation is the key. If moderation is not possible than try curbing the habit altogether.

5. Smoking

This is the worst habit to have. Smoking is basically breathing in toxic, cancer-causing chemicals into your lungs. Smokers are at an increased risk for lung cancer, heart diseases and other cancers. Almost 80% to 90% of lung cancer cases can be traced back to smoking. A smoker will face heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Quitting can reverse the damage or at least significantly lower the chances of suffering.

If you are in the habit of doing any of these activities, it is best to quit now and take a step towards wellness and happy living. Replace these bad habits with good ones and you will feel a marked improvement in health and fitness.