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Some of the most common smoking-related diseases are emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. Coronary artery disease, stroke and chronic bronchitis are other diseases associated with cigarette smoking. There are thousands of toxic chemicals that exist in the compound of one single cigarette that can lead to diseases.
The most serious consequence and risk factor of cigarette smoking is cancer. It is said that nine out of 10 lung cancer deaths are caused by cigarette smoking. Other smoking-related diseases are different forms of cancer such as pancreatic, prostate and liver. More commonly, cancer of the mouth or larynx is also smoking-related. Although lung cancer accounts for more smoking-related diseases and deaths than the other cancers combined, they all can play a significant factor.
Emphysema constricts the lungs and airways, as does COPD. Long-term smoking can scar the lining and tissues of the lung, causing permanent damage and life-long breathing difficulties. Shortness of breath, wheezing, and the presence of a chronic cough are all symptoms of smoking-related diseases associated with COPD.
Chronic bronchitis will typically cause the individual to cough up phlegm and have frequent inflammatory issues involving the bronchial tubes. There may be great difficulty as the individual attempts to exhale due to the lungs having to work harder to contract. Those who suffer from such smoking-related diseases are typically more susceptible to upper respiratory infections.
Heart disease caused by cigarette smoking is commonly seen. As the smoker continues the habit over a period of time, plaque is likely to accumulate in the arteries of the heart. When the arteries begin to harden, blood flow can become blocked, and this can lead to many serious complications. If left untreated, this can lead to death from cardiac arrest. Smoking marijuana has also been linked to causing risk factors for heart disease, although some experts deny this reasoning.
Cigarette smoking has been shown to be a cause of stroke, because nicotine has the effect of causing a blockage to blood vessels of the brain. When blood vessels are unable to function properly, the brain loses its ability as well, and a stroke can occur. Victims of strokes often can be left with permanent disabilities in speech and motor coordination as well as paralysis.
For individuals who want to lower their risk of developing smoking-related diseases, there are effective methods to quit smoking. Stop smoking aids and alternatives are readily available. There are also smoking support groups that provide counseling and techniques to help kick the habit for good.
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