Tobacco and nicotine are some of the most addictive substances. In fact, they can be just as addicting as heroin. They affects every organ in your body and even changes the chemistry of your brain. Once you put nicotine in your body – whether it be in the form of chew, cigarettes, or cigars – it only takes 10 seconds to reach the brain. There are more than 6000 chemicals released and inhaled into your body when you smoke. These chemicals include arsenic (rat poison), formaldehyde (embalming fluid), lead, tar, and much more.
Second-hand smoke can be just as dangerous as using the product yourself. Second-hand smoke is when a non-smoker breathes in smoke from a smoker. The smoke from a cigar cigarette can stay in the air for several hours after someone has finished smoking. Long-term exposure to this residual smoke can cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, and asthma. Children who are exposed can have severe complications with asthma and even develop bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.
How Tobacco, Nicotine, and Smoking Affect Your Body
The brain develops a “need” for nicotine by the creation of extra receptors to accommodate the dose of nicotine you are intaking.
When you quit, you experience withdrawal with symptoms like anxiety, irritability, and strong cravings.
Head and Face
Tobacco may cause hearing loss due to the decrease in oxygen provided to the inner ear.
Tobacco can cause blindness and night vision changes as well as an increased risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. These could end a driving career unnecessarily early.
Nicotine increases blood pressure which puts extra stress on your heart. Tobacco also increases cholesterol and fatty deposits which lead to heart disease.
Tobacco causes, sticky thick blood which increases the risk of blood clots.
Smoking causes chronic diseases that often lead to death. Some examples of these are lung diseases such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and emphysema. This occurs when smoking destroys the air sacs that are inside the lungs which allow oxygen to exchange. As they are destroyed, your oxygen capacity decreases thus increasing the damage done to the lungs.
Smoking paralyzes the vacuum fibers within your lungs causing chronic cough, infections, and viruses. These can lead to increased number of sick days taken.
DNA or Genetic Code
Stomach and Hormones
Blood and Immune System
Muscles and Bones
You Can Quit
Here are a few ideas to help you get started taking steps today to become smoke-free.
Tobacco Cessation Programs
Quit Cold Turkey
Nicotine Patches and Products
Quitting tobacco products can be a challenge. Be sure to talk with your CDL Wellness Coach for support, resources, and ideas. We’re here to help!