What can be done to prevent the condition?
Once a person starts smoking, he or she quickly becomes addicted to nicotine. The key is to never start smoking. Antismoking campaigns can be effective in spreading this message.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
The health risks from the chemicals found in tobacco are enormous. Tobacco use can cause the following diseases:
coronary artery disease and other forms of heart disease
gastroesophageal reflux disease
Tobacco also is a factor in causing the following conditions:
decreased life expectancy
erectile dysfunction, or impotence
gray hair and baldness
high blood pressure and circulation problems
infertility in men and women
osteoporosis and increased risk for bone fractures
weakened immune system
What are the risks to others?
Smoking is a form of air pollution. It exposes others to secondhand smoke. People who are exposed to a significant amount of secondhand smoke share many of the same risk factors as people who smoke. A pregnant woman who smokes increases her risk for miscarriage and other health problems for her baby.