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Helping you through the up’s and downs of quitting smoking!

Short Term Effects of Smoking Cigarettes

It is worth considering the effects smoking might have on a person in the short term. These are not all necessarily negative results in all cases; scare-tactic campaigning is now a common technique used by government bodies to try to frighten people from smoking. However, their short, stark message usually focuses on a single aspect of smoking’s effects, and it can help a quitter stick with it if they can build up an overall picture of what smoking has been doing or could do in future to their body.

Short term effects on the Circulatory System include:

  • Increased heart rate and increased blood pressure, rarely beneficial to the health in any person. The extra strain on the heart effectively means it could become diseased or suffer complications much sooner than in a non-smoker.
  • The constriction of blood vessels compounds this effect, narrowing the space blood has to travel through and making the heart pump harder just to keep the body at a normal state, due to the decreased flow of blood carrying oxygen.
  • This constriction is caused by a side effect of smoking: the build-up of fat and cholesterol deposits within the walls of blood vessels.
  • Other effects include dizziness, hand tremors and coldness in the fingers and toes.

Short term effects on the Respiratory System includes:

  • Smoking increases the effect of irritants on any standing allergies, as well as irritating the eyes and nose itself.
  • This happens when smoking paralyses the cillia, the part of the respiratory system which blocks out irritants.
  • Another result is the increase in incidences of coughs and colds in a smoker.

Short term effects on the Digestive System includes:

  • An increase in acid in the stomach, which can be painful.
  • A reduction in appetite, which can help lose weight in the short term. However, along with appetite the senses of smell and taste are also reduced, which results in loss in pleasure in eating and can make food quite boring, as well as being a hazard in certain environments.
  • A further effect is bad breath, a direct consequence of each cigarette smoked.

Additionally, physical endurance is hampered by smoking, while mental functions are briefly improved by it, followed by a period of reduced brain activity.

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