WHERE THERE’S SMOKE…

…there’s killer side ef­fects to your health (and your wal­let). Keep these things in mind be­fore you take a puff.

Dolly - - Doctor -

No doubt you’ve been at a party or hang­ing with a group of friends and some­one has of­fered you a drag of their cig­gie. If you were com­pletely re­pulsed by it and said “Ew, no!”, then *slow clap* for you. But not every­one has this kind of willpower, es­pe­cially when there’s pres­sure from friends or they think hav­ing a smoke looks cool or badass. Maybe you’ve had lots of these lit­tle puffs and are smok­ing on the reg­u­lar now, which prob­a­bly seems harm­less be­cause you’re young and ~blessed~ with healthy lungs – but it’s like those gross ads on TV say: ev­ery durry is do­ing you dam­age.

ONE CIG­A­RETTE

Think one cheeky cig can’t hurt? You’re waaay off base. When you smoke just one cig­a­rette, you’re in­hal­ing toxic gases in­clud­ing am­mo­nia, formalde­hyde and car­bon monox­ide. Any of these sound fa­mil­iar? Am­mo­nia is a chem­i­cal used to clean toi­lets, formalde­hyde is used to pre­serve dead bod­ies, and car­bon monox­ide is what comes out of car ex­haust sys­tems. Yuck! You’re also in­hal­ing nico­tine, which raises your blood pres­sure and heart rate and also re­leases a feel-good hor­mone called dopamine – that’s what makes smok­ing so ad­dic­tive. And the ef­fects don’t let up. Even up to eight hours af­ter you flick the cig­a­rette butt into the bin, 4000 dif­fer­ent chem­i­cals are still at­tack­ing your body and af­fect­ing the per­for­mance of your vi­tal or­gans.

ONE WEEK OF SMOK­ING

Ad­dic­tion starts to set in af­ter smok­ing for just seven days. Thanks to those ris­ing and fall­ing dopamine lev­els, you’ll start crav­ing an­other hit. And guess what? Girls are more likely to be­come ad­dicted than boys. Oh, yay. Even at a young age and smok­ing just the oc­ca­sional dart over a seven-day pe­riod, you’ve al­ready in­creased your risk of de­vel­op­ing can­cer and heart dis­ease in the fu­ture. Also, that guy you’ve been smil­ing at in English class? He’ll be able to smell the smoke on your clothes, hair, breath and skin (no mat­ter how much deodorant you coat your­self in!). Not hot.

ONE MONTH OF SMOK­ING

Now your lungs are re­ally cop­ping it. Smok­ing af­fects your im­mune sys­tem, so it’s eas­ier to con­tract coughs and colds. It also in­flames the lin­ing of your lungs, in­creas­ing the risk of chronic res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases like bron­chi­tis and em­phy­sema. In other words, imag­ine hav­ing a dis­gust­ing, phlegm-filled cough and feel­ing like crap ALL THE TIME. Not only are you leav­ing your­self open to de­vel­op­ing these ill­nesses, you’re also in­creas­ing your risk of lung can­cer. Un­sur­pris­ingly, up to 90 per cent of lung can­cer cases are caused by smok­ing. Cig­a­rettes can also make your pe­ri­ods worse (as if we needed help with that!). A US study has shown that women who start smok­ing be­fore the age of 15 are two-and-a-half times more likely to de­velop the dreaded symp­toms of PMS, plus bloat­ing and aches. On a vain note, af­ter a month on the dur­ries you’ll also no­tice your fin­gers start­ing to turn yel­low and you might also get yel­low­ish-brown stains on your teeth. So not only will your body be suf­fer­ing, your selfie game will be too.

ONE YEAR OF SMOK­ING

By now you are well and truly ad­dicted, and the longer you smoke, the harder it is to quit. Maybe these gross lit­tle fac­toids will help push you in the right di­rec­tion: Af­ter a year of smok­ing, you could start to have some mouth probz in­clud­ing tooth de­cay and per­ma­nently stinky breath – plus it af­fects your taste­buds, so food won’t taste as de­li­cious. Smok­ing can af­fect your vi­sion by cloud­ing your eye lenses, which in some smok­ers has led to blind­ness. (Imag­ine never see­ing Dy­lan O’brien’s glo­ri­ous dim­ples ever again!) Not sleep­ing well? Get­ting bad headaches and back­aches? You can thank smok­ing for that! You’re also prob­a­bly feel­ing the ef­fects of it on your fit­ness lev­els, when even a run around the block leaves you feel­ing short of breath. When you smoke, you also en­dan­ger your car­dio­vas­cu­lar health, which can have dev­as­tat­ing long-term ef­fects. Smok­ing causes lipids (harm­ful fats) to stick to the walls of your blood ves­sels, which im­pairs your blood cir­cu­la­tion and in­creases your risk of heart dis­ease and stroke.

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