Smoking has become more than a habit nowadays. Most smokers start smoking to relieve stress, to become a part of a group, to look cool, etc. But once they are habituated, they almost always get hooked. Thus, a drag becomes a habit, and a habit becomes an addiction. Smoking might feel good, but it is hazardous to smokers as well as to their family and friends.
Smoking causes a lot of problems, and it seriously affects your heart health. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack as compared to non-smokers. Here are the 7 reasons how tobacco affects your cardiovascular health:
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which arteries become narrow and less flexible. The main cause of atherosclerosis is an accumulation of plaque that builds up in the walls of arteries. Plaque is formed by the deposition of fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the blood. Due to plaque the opening inside the arteries narrows and blood no longer flows right to various parts of your body. Smoking raises the formation of plaque in blood vessels.
Heart Works Harder
Tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide which reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. Due to less oxygen, your heart has to pump harder to supply the remaining oxygen to the body for regular functioning. Smoking makes it tougher for your heart to do its work. As a result, your heart is more susceptible to damage and various cardiovascular diseases.
Loss of brain function due to interruption of blood flow within the brain results in Stroke. Stroke is dangerous as it can cause permanent brain damage and death. And smoking increases the risk for Strokes. Death from Strokes is more likely among smokers than among non-smokers or former smokers.
Affects Blood Pressure
Cigarettes contain a harmful substance called nicotine which stimulates your body to produce adrenaline which in turn makes your heart beat faster and raises your blood pressure. The increase in blood pressure makes your heart work harder. High blood pressure leads to various other health problems and cardiovascular diseases.
Blood Becomes Thicker and Clots
The blood in your veins needs to be of fluid consistency so that it can flow smoothly through arteries and reach all the capillaries. However, smoking and tobacco usage makes your blood more likely to clot which increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
Passive smoking is a much greater problem than many people realise. The reason is- second-hand smoke is a blend of the smoke from a cigarette (or cigar), and the smoke breathed out from the lungs of smokers. More than 4,000 harmful substances are present in this mixture, out of which 40 are known to cause cancer in humans or animals and many of which are strong irritants.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified second-hand smoke as a known cause of lung cancer in humans. This smoke causes 30 times as many lung cancer deaths as all regulated air pollutants combined. As estimated by the EPA, second-hand smoke causes roughly 3,000 lung cancer deaths in non-smokers every year.
Dangers of chewing tobacco
Some people chew tobacco as an alternative to smoking. However, it doesn’t reduce the health risks associated with smoking. Chewing tobacco also increases your risk of throat cancer, mouth cancer, and other cancers related to the oesophagus. It also affects your oral health, and your teeth can become more vulnerable to tooth decay and tooth loss.
Smoking damages your heart and blood vessels rapidly, however, the harm is repaired for most smokers who quit smoking. Even long-time smokers can see fast health improvements when they quit. The risk of heart attack drops drastically within a year. Within five years, most smokers cut their risk of stroke to about that of a non-smoker.
But, even a couple of cigarettes once in a while harms your heart, so the only proven strategy to keep it safe from impacts of smoking is to quit.
Quitting smoking and tobacco usage in other forms is the best thing you can do for your cardiovascular health and wellbeing. It will also protect your loved ones, family and friends. However, in the interim, it would be advisable to buy a health insurance plan covering any future expenses that may arise because of consuming tobacco and smoking. Cancer insurance plans can help you in this regard.
How Can Cancer Insurance Help?
Although being diagnosed with cancer is not in your hands, you can take precautions and secure yourself financially by purchasing cancer insurance plan.
A cancer insurance policy is a must-have considering the high costs involved in dealing with critical illnesses. One such plan is Future Generali’s ‘Cancer Protect Plan’.
This Cancer Protect Plan includes all kinds of cancers and provides cover for all stages of cancer (please read the exceptions). This plan also provides premium waiver (for three years or till the end of your policy term, whichever is earlier) if diagnosed with cancer. Additionally, it also provides monthly income for a certain period ensuring that there is financial assistance for your family, as you are no longer working after being diagnosed with a critical illness.
In conclusion, you must ensure that you are financially secured (against the cost of medical treatment) if detected with a malignancy. And the best way to do so is to purchase the Cancer Protect Plan at the earliest.