Tobacco Addiction | Complications


How does smoking hurt my health?

Smoking can shorten your life by as much as 14 years. Smoking can cause many diseases, including lung cancer, mouth cancers and heart disease. It can also cause a cough that won't go away, and it may make it hard for you to breathe.

How does smoking affect me right now?

There are several reasons to quit smoking now:

  • Smoking gives you bad breath.
  • Smoking makes your clothes and hair smell bad.
  • Smoking turns your teeth and fingers yellow and makes your skin wrinkle more easily.
  • Smoking makes you get tired more quickly when you exercise.
  • Smoking raises your heartbeat and your blood pressure.
  • Smoking damages your immune system. You may get colds, the flu or even pneumonia more often if you smoke.
  • Smoking can affect your sexual performance by making it more difficult for blood to reach all of the body's organs.
  • Smoking weakens your tendons and ligaments, making it easier to get injured. It also makes it harder for injuries to heal.
  • Smoking is affecting people around you. Second-hand smoke is dangerous, too.
  • Smoking is costing you money.
  • You’re setting a bad example for your children.

How does smoking affect me in the long-term?

Smoking causes many adverse health conditions, including an increased risk of:

  • Lung cancer and many other types of cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Serious breathing problems
  • Stomach ulcers and acid reflux
  • Gum disease
  • Damage to babies of pregnant women who smoke

Smoking can also cost you time lost working or having fun because you're sick.


Reducing Tobacco Use in Adolescents by Irene M. Rosen, LTC, MC, USA, and Douglas M. Maurer, MAJ, MC, USA (American Family Physician February 15, 2008,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 05/14
Created: 09/09