20 January 2013
My aunt Sharon was of my favorite relatives. We were close to say the least. As the tears ran down my face, at her funeral, I started to see the signals. They were signals of the effects that long term smoking can have on ones’ body. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but she didn’t pass away from lung cancer. Long term use of smoking tobacco can have come with many health risks, other than lung cancer. These risks can have an acute target within the body or be broad spectrum. COPD, cardiovascular disease and other types of cancer are just a few of these risks. We’ve all heard somebody cough like they’re coughing up a lung. We all say the cough is from smoking and we’re correct, but it’s not the smoke causing the cough. The coughing is normally from COPD. COPD is an acronym for Chronic(long term) Obstructive(blockage) Pulmonary(of the lungs) Disease. Smoking is considered the most common cause of COPD and accounts for over 80% of all those diagnosed with COPD, and 90% of COPD related deaths (www.COPD-International.com). Since damaged and even destroyed lung tissue is a part of COPD, a person is less efficient acquiring oxygen for the body. Symptoms often include shortness of breath, wheezing and excessive coughing. But wait, the lungs aren’t the only specific area that is affected by smoking. Cardiovascular Disease is another serious risk factor associated with smoking. Cardiovascular Disease is the medical term for heart disease. Cardiovascular Disease covers a list of more specific diseases that all pertain to the heart and blood vessels, and on this list is Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries. Eventually the plaque hardens and narrows ones’ arteries, thus limiting blood flow throughout the body and making that person’s heart work harder than a healthy person to achieve the same result. The added stress to the heart can cause heart attack and...