According to the doctors, smoking not only can causes lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease but it can also cause slow, less noticeable damage to many other organs and body systems.
"Most people associate smoking with lung cancer, which is definitely a major reason to quit. But there are many other serious health consequences that people are not familiar with," said Michael G. Stewart, MD, MPH professor and chairman of the department of torhinolaryngology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, like snuff, is the leading cause of cancers of the head and neck. But if not treated, these cancers can result in partial or full removal of the lip, tongue, cheek and portions of the throat, including the larynx (voice box).
The study has found that tobacco smoke hurts more than the smoker. Exposure to second-hand smoke can cause damage to a child's developing organs, like the lungs and brain.
Smoking can affect your hearing. It has long been known that active smoking produces a negative effect on middle ear function by chronically irritating the eustachian tube and the lining of the middle ear. Smokers tend to have more persistent and advanced ear disease than their non-smoking counterparts, as well as hearing problems.
Smoking aggravates conditions like allergies and sinusitis, for it irritates the lining of the nasal passages, many smokers suffer from constant facial pain and pressure of the sinuses, along with tiredness and irritability.
"We know that quitting is no easy task, but the overall health benefits are immeasurable. Doctors and other medical professionals are here to help you. You don't have to go it alone," Dr. Stewart said.