In this year, the fiftieth anniversary of the Surgeon General’s office calling tobacco what it is - a killer, the report (which can be found here) enumerates the sins of the smoke. Most people know that tobacco contains known carcinogens, and is related to lung and other head and neck cancers. The damage of smoking to the lungs is widely known and acknowledged. The acceleration of vascular disease and the association between smoking and cardiovascular disease is well-studied and widely known.
The more widespread effects of tobacco are less well known, and new associations are increasingly being recognized. The surgeon general in this report concluded that smoking is causally-linked - many smoking can directly cause -diabetes, liver and colorectal cancers. These are fairly recent additions to the list of diseases and damage from smoking.
The body - from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes and all parts between - is harmed by tobacco and smoking. Did you know smoking is related to macular degeneration (a leading cause of blindness), erectile dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, growth problems in fetuses whose mothers smoke as well as cleft lips and palates? Amazing that after 50 years scientists are still uncovering more ways tobacco damages the body.
This is not intended as a public shaming campaign for smokers, but a call to health for all. We need to work together to educate and keep others from starting on the path to addiction and help those who are addicted. We know it’s not easy. Some resources for quitting can be found here.
Originally published 2/18/14 on diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com.