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Effects

The effects of smoking will vary from person to person and depend on such things as:
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a person's susceptibility to chemicals in tobacco smoke;

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the number of cigarettes smoked per day;

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the age when the person began smoking; and

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the number of years of smoking.

Immediate effects
 

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Smoking one cigarette immediately raises a person's blood pressure and heart rate and decreases the blood flow to body extremities such as the fingers and toes.

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Brain and the nervous system activity is stimulated for a short time and then reduced.

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A smoker may also experience dizziness, nausea, watery eyes and acid in the stomach.

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Appetite, taste and smell are weakened.

Other effects of cigarette smoking
 

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Smokers typically experience shortness of breath, persistent coughs, reduced fitness, yellow stains on fingers and teeth and decreased sense of taste and smell.

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Smokers have more colds and flu than non-smokers and find it harder to recover from minor illnesses.

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Smoking can cause impotence in men, while women who smoke are less fertile than non-smokers.

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People who smoke tend to have facial wrinkles appearing much earlier and, in general, look older than non-smokers of the same age.

Smokers have an increased risk of developing:

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respiratory infections such as pneumonia and chronic bronchitis;

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emphysema (a progressive and potentially fatal lung disease);

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heart attack and coronary disease;

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cancer of the lung, throat, mouth, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, stomach;

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stomach ulcers; and

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peripheral vascular disease due to decreased blood flow to the legs.

A person who is dependent on cigarettes may find that they experience withdrawal symptoms when they cut down or stop smoking cigarettes. These can include:

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increased nervousness and tension;

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agitation;

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loss of concentration;

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changes to sleep patterns;

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headaches;

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coughs; and

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cravings.

Other dangers and important facts
 

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Smoking during pregnancy can affect the unborn child, and babies are more likely to be born underweight, premature or stillborn.

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Passive smoking, where a person is subject to breathing in the cigarette smoke of others, can cause lung damage, including cancer and heart disease.

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Fifty Australians die every day from smoking compared with 10 who die from alcohol-related conditions or 4 who die from road accidents

 

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