The short-term effects of smoking range from excitement, nausea, to ulcers and digestive problems. Although these effects may be temporary, and get resolved within a few hours or days, frequent episodes lead to severe health deterioration.
Every year millions of Americans seek treatment for smoking-related illnesses, and the number is increasing every year. As smoking is one of the socially accepted evils, it is considered to be one of the hardest addictions to cure. Studies have revealed that short-term effects of smoking, namely instant stimulation, is what causes people to get addicted.
Cigarette smoke contains harmful chemicals like nicotine, tar, arsenic, acetone, etc. In spite of warning signs displayed on cigarette cases, people choose to ignore it, and continue smoking because they want stimulation. Given below are a few short-term psychological and physiological effects of smoking.
Smoking gives rise to a feeling of well-being, and a sense of stimulation. When a person inhales the cigarette smoke, it passes through the blood brain barrier, and stimulates the neurotransmitters in the brain, which are responsible for the release of neurochemicals like dopamine. When this happens a feeling of happiness prevails.
People say that smoking helps when they are stressed. This is partly because of the fact that smoking influences the neurotransmitters that control the release of hormones like serotonin, which is responsible for stress-relief. Hence, people develop a psychological dependency on cigarettes, and tend to smoke under conditions of stress and anxiety.
Other psychological effects include an increased sense of awareness, caused due to certain chemicals that stimulate the visual cortex. Adrenalin is also one of the hormones released when people smoke, and it makes the individual feel more energetic. This also leads to a psychological dependence on smoking, in many people. In some cases, people continue smoking because they believe that it will improve their ability to concentrate.
A large number of people experience slight dizziness when they smoke, especially after the first cigarette of their day. People who have existing allergies will experience more severe symptoms when they smoke. Nicotine addiction is also known to cause headaches and irritation in the eyes.
Shortness of breath is one of the common side effects of smoking. This is because smoking reduces the supply of oxygen to the cells. As a result, the amount of oxygen obtained per breath is less, resulting in rapid breathing.
Smoking tobacco affects the circulatory system, and leads to an increase in blood pressure. Although this condition may return to normal after a while, frequent episodes may prove to be harmful in the long run.
One of the most ignored side effects is bad breath, which can lead to tooth decay, and other diseases like gingivitis. It can also lead to the formation of oral ulcers. Smoking also has an adverse effect on the digestive system, and reduces appetite. It leads to increased acid levels causing, acid reflux. Other prominent short-term effects include sore throat, cold, and cough.
Smoking during pregnancy causes increased nausea and vomiting, and may even lead to undesired complications.
Most people ignore the short-term effects of smoking, as they tend to resolve after some time. On the other hand, some people have selective memory, that is, they only remember the good times, and not the problems. If you are planning to quit smoking, you could try the nicotine patches, or chewing gums, specifically prepared to control nicotine addiction.