Smoking decreases blood oxygen and makes the heart and lungs work harder, leading to fatigue. It can also lead to numerous other health issues. Quitting can increase a person’s energy and improve overall health.
Tobacco smoke contains more than
Smoking narrows the blood vessels and reduces the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the organs and tissues. It can negatively affect energy levels, mood, skin, immunity, and other functions.
This article outlines why smoking reduces a person’s energy and its effects on other parts of the body.
Tobacco contains nicotine, which is a mood-altering, addictive substance. When a person smokes, nicotine reaches their brain
The adrenaline rush triggers an increase in blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate. However, the effect wears off over time, leaving the person tired and craving another cigarette to reenergize them.
When a person smokes, they have more carbon monoxide and less oxygen in their bloodstream. They may also have narrower blood vessels, meaning the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body. This extra energy required by the heart may reduce a person’s energy for other activities and make them tired.
Smoking harms just about every organ in the body. It causes a range of diseases and a general reduction in health. Cigarette smoking is responsible for almost
The following sections outline the effects of smoking on the body.
Smokers have a
Smoking harms the blood vessels, causing them to thicken and narrow and reducing the space for blood to flow. This means the heart needs to pump harder to deliver blood around the body, increasing blood pressure.
Smokers also have a higher risk of developing clots. When clots form in the blood vessels, they can restrict blood flow to areas such as the skin, legs, and brain, leading to a stroke.
Even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes per day may show early signs of cardiovascular disease.
Smoking harms the airways and alveoli — small air sacs in the lungs — making breathing difficult. If a person with asthma smokes, it can trigger an attack or make worsen the condition.
Skin, hair, and nails
Smoking can affect a person’s physical appearance. For instance, it contributes to premature wrinkling and skin aging. This may be because smoking causes the breakdown of collagen, which keeps the skin supple and elastic.
The physical act of drawing on a cigarette causes the mouth to pucker and the eyes to develop wrinkles known as “crow’s feet.” Cigarette smoke also causes the blood vessels to narrow, restricting the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the skin.
Additionally, people who smoke go gray and lose their hair faster. They can also develop discolored fingers and nails on their smoking hand.
Mood and mental health
Some people continue to smoke because they feel that it relieves stress and tension. However, the opposite may be true. Smoking may actually increase tension and anxiety.
Smoking is addictive. If a person has not had a cigarette for a while, they may feel irritable and anxious. Nicotine in cigarette smoke activates reward pathways in the brain, temporarily reducing anxiety. Anxiety then increases when the nicotine rush subsides, and a person craves another cigarette, perpetuating the cycle of addiction.
There are high rates of smoking in people with depression and anxiety.
People who smoke experience inflammation and
A 2018 study in Tobacco Induced Diseases found that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who smoked had significantly higher levels of fatigue and depression than people with MS who did not smoke. They also had a lower health-related quality of life.
According to the study, the longer a person with MS had smoked, the worse their walking ability, depression, fatigue, and quality of life were. Quitting smoking may help improve these factors.
While many people associate smoking with lung cancer, it can
Cancer or treatment for cancer can cause fatigue and affect people physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Smoking can also have a range of
- reduced sperm quality, increasing the risk of congenital disabilities and miscarriage
- early (preterm) delivery
- low birth weight
- sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- ectopic pregnancy, which is when the fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus and does not result in pregnancy
- cleft palate or cleft lip in the infant
After giving up smoking, a person will have more oxygen in the blood. Within 72 hours of stopping smoking, a person finds that breathing is easier and energy levels rise.
No matter how much a person smokes or for how long, giving up is one of the best things they can do to
- improving overall health and quality of life
- reducing the risk of early death, adding up to 10 years to life expectancy
- reducing the risk of a range of health problems
- reducing the risk of cancer
- improving outcomes if they already have coronary heart disease or COPD
- improving health during pregnancy and fetal health
The best way to quit smoking may be different for everyone. However, every person aiming to quit will need to do the following:
- change their behavior
- learn to manage their nicotine withdrawal symptoms
- find other ways to manage their stress and mood
Preparation is key to quitting
Nicotine replacement therapy may help some people quit. The
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable, early death in the U.S. It also causes a range of health issues affecting everything from the heart and lungs to energy levels and physical appearance.
Tiredness associated with smoking may be due to the effects of nicotine addiction, reduced oxygen in the bloodstream, or difficulty breathing.
A person can improve their energy levels and overall health by quitting smoking.