By Randi McCreary, eHow Contributor
According to SmokingStatistics.org, more than 500,000 deaths related to cigarette smoking have occurred in the past decade. It is clear that smoking is a dangerous habit to begin. For this reason, it is important to understand all of the many effects that smoking can cause. 1.Nicotine
oPeople who smoke cigarettes have developed a craving for, and often an addiction to, nicotine. Nicotine,a natural ingredient of tobacco, is an addictive and poisonous substance that is used in cigarettes. Nicotine is also used as an insecticide. On an average day, a smoker can ingest as much as 3mg of nicotine per cigarette. Oral Side Efffects
oSmoking can affect almost every area of the body. Starting at the top, let's look at its potential effects on the mouth, teeth and gums. At worst, smoking can cause cancer of the mouth. Short of that, it can tarnish the appearance of the teeth. Continued usage will turn the teeth brown and yellow, robbing them of their natural white color. Smoking also can promote gum disease and bad breath. Respiratory Effects
oOne of the major effects of smoking is the damage to the lungs and bronchial tubes. As a smoker inhales cigarette smoke, he sends that smoke through his bronchial tubes. Chemicals and residue from the smoke latch onto the bronchial tubes and cause them to become inflamed. As a result, the smoker will experience a chronic cough. The lungs are affected as the smoke creates a buildup of mucus. Unlike healthy lungs, a smoker's lungs can appear dark and deflated. The most devastating effect of cigarettes on the lungs is a diagnosis of lung cancer. The Heart
oSmoking can directly affect blood pressure. Nicotine works against the body and causes high blood pressure. It can also cause higher levels of cholesterol and blockage of certain arteries. Finally, the blood may not circulate well or be able to clot. All of these factors working together put a...