Smoking

Tobacco smoke contains various substances that are damaging to health. It is always sensible to stop smoking. Try to avoid passive smoking. The effects of stopping smoking are measurable after just a short time. Your condition and blood circulation improve immediately. After 1 year of not smoking the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases is halved. After 10 years the risk of developing lung cancer is halved and the risk of developing other types of cancer is reduced. After 10 to 15 years the risk of having a stroke and of developing cardiovascular diseases is the same as that of a non-smoker.

Smoking and your health

There are a number of health effects associated with smoking.

Smoking increases the risk of Alzheimer’s

Smoking increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. For people who carry the so-called ApoE4 gene, smoking makes this risk extra high.

Smoking increases the risk of a stroke

Substances in tobacco damage the blood vessels and consequently have an impact on your blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most significant risk factors for having a stroke. Studies have shown that stopping smoking has positive effects on your health after just six months.

Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases

Smoking is the most significant risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases. Nicotine accelerates the heart rate, narrows the blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Furthermore, tobacco contains particles that can damage the vessel wall and make blood clot more quickly, increasing the risk of hardening of the arteries.

Studies have shown that stopping smoking has positive effects on your health after just six months.

Smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes

Smoking impairs the body’s insulin sensitivity, which makes the blood sugar level more difficult to regulate. Smokers therefore have a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis

Smoking increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. Passive smoking may go unnoticed and can lead to the same damaging effects.

Smoking increases the risk of rheumatism

Scientific research shows that smokers are three times more likely to suffer from rheumatism than non-smokers. This applies in particular to men, heavy smokers and people who have a positive rheumatoid factor.

Smoking increases the risk of breast cancer

Smoking increases the risk of developing breast cancer. In particular, smoking in the period between your first menstruation and a first pregnancy significantly increases the risk of breast cancer.

Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer

Scientific research has proven conclusively that smoking cigarettes is the most significant risk factor for developing lung cancer. Smoking is the cause of the disease in 85 to 90% of lung cancer cases. On average 15 to 20% of all smokers develop lung cancer.

Smoking cigars and pipes also increases the risk of lung cancer, as does passive smoking. Tobacco smoke contains countless toxic substances, with carcinogenic tar being the worst offender. Nicotine is highly addictive, but is not carcinogenic in itself.

Smoking increases the risk of bowel cancer

There are indications that smoking increases the risk of bowel cancer.

Smoking increases the risk of stomach cancer

Smoking increases the risk of developing stomach cancer.

Smoking increases the risk of oesophageal cancer

Smoking increases the risk of developing oesophageal cancer. The risk of developing oesophageal cancer is particularly high if smoking is combined with drinking alcohol.

Besides smoking, chewing tobacco is also a risk factor for oesophageal cancer. Long-term tobacco use is regarded as one of the main causes of oesophageal cancer.

Smoking increases the risk of liver cancer

Smoking increases the risk of developing liver cancer. This risk is particularly high if you also consume alcohol regularly or contract a hepatitis B or C infection.

iGene Passport

iGene offers you an insight into your personal risks of developing conditions and tells you whether stopping smoking (and avoiding passive smoking) may be particularly important for you to help prevent certain conditions. In addition, an iGene Passport provides you with information on what else you can do to reduce any risks. Here we focus on behaviour that will help you maximise the benefits to your health. In the publication below you can read more about what iGene can do for you.