Are you addicted to smoking? If yes, your likelihood of suffering from clinical depression is twice than those who do not smoke. This is what a recent research published in the journal PLOS ONE has stated. This means that smoking cigarettes can not only affect you physically but mentally too.
For those who are intrigued to know the mechanism by which cigarettes affects mental health, they contain a stimulant called nicotine. This potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid reaches your brain within 10 seconds of smoking. In the initial hours, nicotine improves your mood and concentration by relaxing muscles. Also, it reduces stress, anger, and appetite too.
These positive changes make your brain addicted to nicotine and a reduction in the supply of the stimulant can make you go through withdrawal symptoms like stress, anxiety, depression, etc. Smoking is also associated with schizophrenia, which is a mental disorder that affects your ability to think, behave, and feel.
Smoking regularly can potentially damage your lungs and eventually cause severe respiratory problems. People who are addicted to smoking are at higher susceptibility to develop nonreversible lung conditions. Nicotine can destroy the air sacs of your lungs and lead to emphysema. Additionally, its long-term exposure can cause permanent inflammation in the breathing tubes.
When you smoke, the poison present in the tar reaches your bloodstream and makes your blood thicker increasing the risk of clot formation that can cause stroke and heart attack. Thicker blood in the arteries can make them narrow and reduce the amount of blood circulation to different organs. This can potentially put extra pressure on your heart to pump blood eventually causing high blood pressure.
Moreover, smokers have higher chances to die from stomach cancer than those who stay away from it. The poisonous substances present in cigarettes can weaken your muscles controlling oesophagus and lead to the backflow of acids. This is called acid reflux.