From our health files: Let’s talk smoking. We all know it’s a dangerous habit and causes 1 in 5 deaths every year. But smoking isn’t just a cancer trigger. We’ll investigate how it damages every bit of your body and causes all kinds of diseases.
Number one: Smoking causes diabetes. The Mayo Clinic says if you light up more than 20 times a day, your chances of developing diabetes doubles. Because tobacco elevates blood sugar levels and causes insulin resistance.
Another way smoking damages your body: It attacks your heart. Smoking triples your risk of dying from coronary heart disease - the number one killer of North Americans. That's because smoking shrinks blood vessels, causes blood clots, and spikes your blood pressure which forces your heart to constantly work overtime.
Also, smoking can kill your baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 1,000 infants die every year because of smoking. Because babies who breathe secondhand smoke have a much higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and severe asthma.
Another reason not to smoke: It blasts your skin. Every time you take a puff, your skin gets bombarded with over 4,000 chemicals. Compounds that wipe out collagen and elastin, which give skin its strength and elasticity. Without them, your skin sags and wrinkles.
And, the final reason not to smoke: It boosts your risk of Alzheimer’s. A study found that if you’re a smoker, your odds of developing Alzheimer’s shoots up 157-percent. And it doesn’t stop there. Your risk of dementia skyrockets 172-percent. Researchers say it’s because smoking causes body-wide inflammation - a big trigger for both diseases.