How tobacco smoke harms every part of the body

The dangers tobacco poses to the heart and lungs have been well established by medical science, and anti-smoking campaigns are now decades-old. To protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke, dozens of cities and states have banned smoking in public spaces.

“This leads to chronic inflammation and cellular damage— and, by the way, secondhand smoke is generally worse” than what actually enters the smoker’s mouth, Gordon says. That’s because the smoker is typically breathing it in through a filter that removes some of the byproducts of the burning tobacco. Secondhand smoke is completely unfiltered.

Scientists find why male smokers may run even higher health risks

Male smokers are three times more likely than non-smoking men to lose their Y chromosomes, according to research which may explain why men develop and die from many cancers at disproportionate rates compared to women.

In a study in the journal Science, researchers at Sweden’s Uppsala University found that Y chromosomes, which are important for sex determination and sperm production, more often disappear from blood cells of smokers than those of men who have never smoked or of men who have kicked the habit.

“There is a correlation between a common and avoidable risk factor, that is smoking, and the most common human mutation — loss of the Y chromosome,” said Jan Dumanski, an Uppsala professor who worked on the study.

“This … may in part explain why men in general have a shorter life  span than women and why smoking is more dangerous for men.”