< Return to TeenWell Home

The Effects of Cigarette Smoking

There’s no question about it – smoking is an unhealthy habit that can shorten your life by at least 10 years.  Health hazards associated with smoking include cancer almost anywhere in the body, emphysema (chronic lung damage), lung disease, heart disease, gum disease and an increased risk of illnesses. In addition to these health effects, smoking may cause physical and mental health effects such as:

  • Bad breath and stained teeth
  • Poor smelling clothes/hair
  • Reduced athletic performance and overall endurance
  • Financial constraints due to the high cost of cigarettes

These days, smoking is banned in most public places and cigarette companies are no longer allowed to advertising due to the known health effects.  However, people will still try it, keep doing it and sometimes get addicted to it. 

Smoking is considered one of the most addicting habits and one of the most difficult habits to quit.  Most adults who start smoking in their teens never expected to become addicted to it.

The best way to prevent the effects of smoking is to avoid it in the first place.  This can be very tough if friends around you smoke and offer it to you.  To prepare for these situations, think about the reasons why you choose not to smoke and have a response ready when offered. A simple, “no thanks” can work.

Secondhand smoke can affect you if your family members and friends are smoking as well as others close to you if you are smoking around them. In children, secondhand smoke can cause more frequent asthma attacks, respiratory infection, ear infections, and sudden infant deaths syndrome. Adults are at more risk for lung CA, heart disease and reproductive issues in women. You can protect yourself and others from secondhand smoke by rolling windows down in car and limiting smoking to outside the home.

If you have started smoking and want to quit, many resources are available to you including support groups in schools and hospitals, certain medications and resources that can be found on the internet.

At Legacy, our primary care doctors and pharmacists are available to counsel individuals into a personalized smoking cessation program to help kick the habit. 

Talk to your provider or a Legacy pharmacist if you want to quit smoking.  There’s no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed.  These are experts that want to help you create a plan that works for you.

What questions to ask?

  • I’ve started smoking and I’m ready to quit. What do I do?