When calling to compare medical scheme quotes they will all ask you the same thing: “Do you smoke?” This is standard for all medical aids because of the effects smoking has on your health. It has a negative effect on almost every organ in your body so not asking would be irresponsible.
Toxins in tobacco smoke
This is a toxic gas found in car’s exhaust fumes, fumes from melting metal and cigarettes. It is dangerous because it takes the place of the oxygen in your blood which cuts off oxygen to your organs. This is without doubt detrimental to your health.
The sticky brown stuff that is mixed with gravel to make road surfaces is tar. When you smoke this sits in your lungs which increases the mucus production in your lungs. This is as a result of your body rejecting the substance. You may experience shortness of breath or even asthma-like symptoms.
The carbon monoxide in cigarettes damages blood vessels which cause them to become thicker and narrower, restricting blood flow. This makes blockages that cause embolisms more common.
The narrowing of blood vessels results in elevated blood pressure which increases the chances of clots forming, and with it, your chances of having a stroke.
Carbon monoxide harms the alveoli which are air sacs that surround your lungs to give your blood oxygen. If these become too damaged you may develop emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis.
Skin, hair and nails
Your skin, hair and nails will often be the first parts of your body that show signs of smoking. Not only does it increase the chances of skin cancer but it depletes the collagen production of your body. This means skin loses its natural plump youthfulness. You are more likely to experience hair loss and fungal nail infections.
Smoking causes more than just lung cancer. Smoking has been linked to a number of cancers including (but not limited to):
- Skin cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colon cancer
- Oesophagus cancer
- Larynx cancer
- Mouth cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Oropharynx cancer (the tongue, throat, soft palate and tonsils)
Quit today! If you have been a heavy smoker for many years consider a hospital plan with a savings account for cases where the conditions above may occur.