Key Effects of Smoking

The main effects of tobacco smoke on the body include:

  • irritation of the trachea (windpipe) and larynx (voice box)
  • increased risk of lung infection and symptoms such as breathlessness, coughing and wheezing
  • permanent damage to the air sacs of the lungs
  • raised blood pressure and heart rate
  • constriction (tightening) of blood vessels in the skin, resulting in a drop in skin temperature
  • less oxygen carried by the blood during exercise
  • reduced blood flow to extremities (fingers and toes)
  • increased risk of stroke and heart attack due to blockages of the blood supply.
  • greater susceptibility to infections such as pneumonia and influenza
  • tightening of certain muscles
  • damaged sperm and lower sperm count for males
  • reduced fertility menstrual cycle irregularities or absence of menstruation for females
  • increased risk of cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, larynx, tongue, nasal sinus, oesophagus, throat, pancreas, bone marrow, kidney, cervix, ovary, ureter, liver, bladder, bowel and stomach