Brain

Health effects

Smokers generally experience more anxiety, stress and depression than non-smokers.

Smoking is also a major cause of stroke. Strokes occur when an artery carrying blood to the brain suddenly becomes blocked, causing part of the brain to die. This can cause loss of movement, vision or speech.

Smokers are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to have a stroke, with heavier smokers even more at risk.
On average, people who quit smoking experience a 40% increase in positive emotions.

Benefit of quitting

Five years after quitting smoking, your risk of stroke has significantly reduced.

You’re also more likely to reduce your stress levels by becoming a non-smoker.

 

Heart

Health effect

Smoking causes coronary heart disease and increases the risk of other heart and blood vessel diseases. Blockages in certain arteries can lead to heart attack and reduced blood supply to the heart can cause permanent damage to heart muscles.

A year after quitting smoking, your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of someone who continues to smoke.

Lungs

Health effect

Smoking causes lung cancer. It’s the leading cause of cancer deaths in Australia.

Irritants in cigarette smoke can damage the air sacs in the lungs and cause emphysema. Over time, this makes breathing difficult, with some smokers becoming breathless even after minor exertion.

For a life-long smoker, the risk of lung cancer is 20 times higher than for a life-long non-smoker.
90% of lung cancer cases in men are caused by smoking.
65% of lung cancer cases in women are caused by smoking.

Penis

Health effect

Smoking weakens blood flow to the penis and smokers are twice as likely to have erectile problems.

Nails

Health effect

Smoking can cause your nails to turn yellow.

Skin

Health effect

Smoking causes the skin to lose its elasticity and age prematurely.

Teeth

Health effect

Teeth can turn yellow when tar from cigarettes gets stuck in cracks of tooth enamel.

 

Throat

Health effect

Smoking causes throat cancer, including tumours in the area behind the nose and mouth.

Someone who has smoked is up to 9 times as likely as a non-smoker to develop throat cancer.