October is a month rich with health observance “holidays”. Lung Health Month is among those getting the most press. Anti-smoking campaigns that use the gross-out factor, or try to threaten the ill-effects of smoking clearly haven’t wiped out this very un-healthy habit. Smokers love to smoke. They may feel glamorous or sexy smoking, or they may be wrestling with an addiction that has plagued them for years.
According to the consequences of smoking, but may not feel these risks are an immediate threat., smoking kills over 390,000 people each year and is the primary cause of preventable deaths in the US, with an additional 50,000 deaths caused by second-hand smoke. Most smokers are well aware that lung, mouth and are
What they may not understand is the OTHER, more immediatethat don’t get as much press. Cigarette smoke produces as many as 4,000 chemicals, including heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, polonium and lead. These toxins are stuck to the leaves, even after processing and get lodged in the tar that collects in the smoker’s lungs and absorbed by their tissues, creating a host of other problems including DNA mutation, brain chemistry imbalance, organ dysfunction and damage to the nervous system that can cause changes in behavior.
Check out the following heavy metals that may create havoc in your system if you smoke.
- Cadmium - Modulates gene expression and signal transduction, reduces activities of proteins involved in antioxidant defense, interferes with DNA repair which modifies cancer development and brain function.
- Arsenic - Causes gastrointestinal symptoms such as severe vomiting, disturbances of the blood and circulation, damage to the nervous system, and eventually death. May reduce blood cell production, break up in circulation, enlarge the liver, color the skin, produce tingling and loss of sensation in the limbs, and cause brain damage.
- Lead - May cause anemia, damage to the brain and nervous system, headaches, digestive issues and kidney dysfunction.
- Polonium - deposited in the soft tissue such as the spleen, kidneys, and liver, with a small amount also deposited in bone marrow. Repeated exposure or large amounts can cause intestinal hemorrhage, anemia, bleeding, overwhelming infections, and skin conditions.
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