6.6
October 18, 2013

What Smoking Really Does to Our Bodies. {Website}

We’ve all heard by now that smoking is very bad for the body.

We know that smoking can lead to cancer, emphysema, heart disease and a host of other maladies.

However, most of us don’t know about the other nasty things that smoking can do to the body.

For instance, did you know that smoking can cause some women to grow facial hair, make them more prone to vaginal infections and even worsen an existing case of acne? (Apparently, smokers’ pimples are much harder to treat than non-smokers.)

I did not know either until I visited the fascinating site, Tobacco Body.

The Tobacco Body is a great site for anyone who wants to quit the habit for good or just wants to know how bad smoking really is.

On a personal note, speaking as someone who lost her maternal grandfather and uncle to lung cancer, I wish that there had been something around like this when they made the decision to smoke.

Warning: Once you click on this site, you may spend more time on it than you ever thought possible checking out the cool, disturbing information on it.

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Relephant bonus video:

The right kind of smoking can be okay…or not? Ayurveda weighs in:

 

Relephant bonus reads:

5 Tips for Smokers Who Do (Not) Really Want to Quit.

Smoke Signals: Are Cigarettes Really as Bad as They Say?

 

 

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Ed: Sara Crolick
Image: Nadja Tatar/Flickr

 

 

You might need this. An expert weighs in on how to do it:

 

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Bonus, via Reddit:

Smoking increases risk of lung cancer 2,500%. Bacon increases risk of colon cancer 18%. (Followup to yesterday’s meat/cancer WHO post.) (WIRED MAGAZINE)

by duffstoic

According to this article in Wired, processed and cooked meat does increase risk of colon cancer, but far less than smoking cigarettes increases risk of lung cancer.

The scientific evidence linking both processed meat and tobacco to certain types of cancer is strong. In that sense, both are carcinogens. But smoking increases your relative risk of lung cancer by 2,500 percent; eating two slices of bacon a day increases your relative risk for colorectal cancer by 18 percent. Given the frequency of colorectal cancer, that means your risk of getting colorectal cancer over your life goes from about 5 percent to 6 percent and, well, YBMMV. (Your bacon mileage may vary.) “If this is the level of risk you’re running your life on, then you don’t really have much to worry about,” says Alfred Neugut, an oncologist and cancer epidemiologist at Columbia.

The same tiny risk profile appears to be present for other red meats.

Anyway, the article is worth a read. And if you are a smoker, quitting is still the #1 thing you can do for your health.

> Smoking also is correlated with colorectal cancers and you can lower your risk for colon cancer by exercising, losing weight, drinking less alcohol, eating more fiber in the form of whole grains and vegetables, and getting regular screening after the age of 50. A vegetarian diet was associated with a 22% lower risk for colon cancer in one study, but a pescatarian diet was even lower at 43% reduced risk, probably due to the Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids.

> And just for even more perspective, 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical exercise daily may reduce colon cancer risk by 30-40% according to the National Cancer Institute.

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D.R.Hook Jul 20, 2015 8:02pm

I smoked for 30+ years. I tried just about everything. I finally was able to quit the nasty habit 7 years ago. There is no quick and easy gimmick. It's called having urge control, and we all are able to do it. Each craving, studies show, last 2 to 4 minutes in most people. The task is to ride out each craving, not to act on them. Of course, this will happen many times a day. It can be done. And the # of cravings each day will diminish over time, as they did with me. I told myself if I reached the 4 minute marker and still wanted that smoke, I could go get some. I never made the 4 minute marker. Just keep doing whatever it was you were doing as the urge came up. This too shall pass.

Nat Jul 13, 2015 2:38pm

Not sure why, but my screen wouldn't let me read the blurbs on the bottom . . .

linhebert May 27, 2015 8:45am

As a non-smoker, I clicked on Tobacco Body out of curiosity and spent a short amount of time reading a few of the notes. The one that I found very surprising was the statement that most teenage girl smokers are Overweight compared to their non-smoker peers. I've personally never known an overweight teenaged female smoker. In fact, when I was in high school, most of the female smokers used cigarettes as a substitute for food and were very "fashionably" thin.

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Kimberly Lo

Kimberly Lo is a yoga instructor and freelance editor & writer based in Charlottesville, VA. In her spare time, she enjoys needlework, travel, and photography. Connect with her on Facebook.