By 1964, it was official: The U.S. Surgeon General confirmed that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. But in the 50 plus years that followed, we learned that smoking is responsible for a heap of other awful diseases, contributing to the tobacco epidemic we face today.
Here are some health consequences of smoking you might not have heard before…
- Going BlindSmoking doesn’t do your peepers any good. Smoking increases your risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 65.
- Type 2 DiabetesSmoking contributes to type 2 diabetes and increases the risk of complications from the disease— including poor blood flow to legs and feet. This can lead to infection and result in the need to amputate a limb. Yep–you could lose your foot or leg!
- Erectile DysfunctionMale sexual function is affected when you smoke. Tobacco causes narrowing of blood vessels all over your body, including those that supply blood to the penis. Good news is that quitting will make a big difference.
- Ectopic PregnancyEctopic pregnancy is a life-threatening reproductive complication in women that is more likely in smokers. It occurs when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. The egg can’t survive and it puts mom’s life at serious risk.
- Hip FracturesSmokers lose bone density at a faster rate than non-smokers which puts you at risk for breaking body parts like your hip. Putting down the cigarettes can help slow down this process and keep you breaking a sweat, not your bones, on the dance floor.