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Smoking: Introduction

Smoking is an addiction and one of the most preventable causes of premature death in the U.S. Smoking cigarettes exposes the smoker to over 4,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. Smoking causes the vast majority of cases of lung cancer. Smoking also cause other cancers, including mouth cancer, kidney cancer, esophagus cancer, throat cancer and pancreas cancer. Smoking also causes or worsens other lung diseases. People close to a smoker can also experience similar effects due to the inhalation of second-hand smoke.

Dangerous toxins found in cigarettes include formaldehyde and cyanide. Another harmful substance is nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive drug whose side effects include raising heart rate, irritates blood vessels, and raises the risk of developing blood clots. This results in increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

Another dangerous substance produced by smoking is carbon monoxide, which lowers the amount of oxygen in the blood. Smoking also constricts blood vessels. Smoking complicates asthma and other lung diseases, raises cholesterol, and can lead to life-threatening blood clots in women who take oral contraceptives (The Pill).

Because of the addictive nature of smoking, quitting is a difficult challenge. However, it is one of the best things smokers can do for themselves, their health, and their family and friends. Quitting smoking is also known as smoking cessation.

The rewards of successful smoking cessation are many and include a longer life. This is because one in three smokers dies early due to diseases that can result from smoking, such as emphysema, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the American Lung Association. Smoking cessation significantly decreases the risk of developing these serious lung diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

Smoking cessation improves the health of the lungs and increases respiratory capacity. This is the ability to take in oxygen, and people who quit smoking quickly experience less shortness of breath with activities and feel less fatigued and have more energy. Another important benefit of smoking cessation is the improvement in vital signs, including decreased blood pressure and pulse, and an increase in oxygen in the blood. The amount of carbon monoxide also drops in the blood after smoking cessation.

Because smoking constricts blood vessels and negatively affects circulation, smoking cessation is very beneficial for people who have other serious diseases, such as diabetes, which also damage blood vessels.

Typical symptoms of smoking include smoky smelling clothes and hair, and nicotine stained fingers. For more information on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of smoking.

There are many treatments and products available to help people with who want to attempt smoking cessation. These include nicotine replacement therapy and supportive behavior changes programs. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of smoking cessation. ...more »

Smoking: The smoking of cigarettes. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Smoking is available below.

Smoking: Symptoms

Smoker's exhibit many symptoms of smoking and nicotine addiction. These include low oxygen levels in the blood, smoky smelling clothes and hair, and nicotine stained fingers and teeth, low tolerance for exercise, smoker's cough, cold hands and feet, fatigue, hypertension, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, and loss of taste and smell.

When smokers attempt smoking cessation, ...more symptoms »

Smoking: Treatments

The best treatment for smoking is a multifaceted smoking cessation program that includes perseverance, the support of the people close to the smoker, and often nicotine replacement therapy.

Smoking cessation is very difficult due to the highly addictive nature of the chemical nicotine found in cigarettes. It is not unusual for it to take many attempts before a smoker ...more treatments »

Smoking: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of smoking and medical assistance with a smoking cessation program is often delayed because smokers often try to quit on their own before seeking medical support. ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Smoking

Treatments for Smoking

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Smoking:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Smoking?

Smoking: Related Patient Stories

Smoking: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Smoking.

Alternative Treatments for Smoking

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Smoking may include:

Smoking: Complications

Review possible medical complications related to Smoking:

Causes of Smoking

Read more about causes of Smoking.

More information about causes of Smoking:

Disease Topics Related To Smoking

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Smoking:

Smoking: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Hospitals & Clinics: Smoking

Research quality ratings and patient safety measures for medical facilities in specialties related to Smoking:

Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Smoking, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Smoking: Rare Types

Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:

Prognosis for Smoking

Research about Smoking

Visit our research pages for current research about Smoking treatments.

Clinical Trials for Smoking

The US based website lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on for Smoking include:

Statistics for Smoking

Smoking: Broader Related Topics

Smoking Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Smoking, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Definitions of Smoking:

To inhale and exhale the smoke produced by the combustion of a substance. - (Source - Diseases Database)

The act of smoking tobacco or other substances; "he went outside for a smoke"; "smoking stinks" - (Source - WordNet 2.1)


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