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With every cigarette, your body takes in 4000 chemicals, including 43 known carcinogens. These chemicals affect every organ in your body, especially your heart, lungs, brain, liver, kidneys and bladder.
The mixture of nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes sharply decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood. This causes your heart to work harder to deliver oxygen to your body.
Your brain also suffers from this lack of oxygen, which decreases its ability to function properly. This can lead to stroke.
This lack of oxygen also affects your skin – depleting its stores of collagen, and causing the skin to lose elasticity. Meanwhile, the tiny capillaries that nourish the skin are restricted, increasing the depth and appearance of wrinkles.
In the lungs, tar deposits damage the cilia, making them unable to sweep away harmful substances. Dead or mutated cells are left in their place, further damaging the lungs. This can lead to chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
As your body processes the chemicals present in cigarettes, they pass through the liver, kidneys and end up, finally, in the bladder where they will be expelled in urine. This is why smoking increases your risk of bladder cancer by 40%.
Cigarette smoke increases the production of free radicals while also depleting the body of antioxidants, hitting the immune system with a one-two punch.
Over time, the effects of smoking are dreadful. Fatty substances develop in the arteries, further restricting blood flow and leading to the risk heart disease and stroke. The liver, gallbladder and pancreas suffer enormous damage along with the digestive system, lungs, esophagus, throat and mouth.
While this sounds awful, there is hope. Your body starts to recover from the effects of smoking in the first twenty minutes after a cigarette. After ten years without smoking, your body will have repaired most of the damage caused from smoking. To learn more about how NicRX can help you recover from the effects of smoking and begin to live a smoke-free life, see the How it Works page.