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Smoking adversely affects reproductive organs, triggers infertility-related problems

Sunday April 8, 2018 10:55 AM, Faizee Zoahir Mohammed Safwan,


Mumbai: Smoking is directly linked to deterioration of reproductive health in both males as well as females even as the severity of damage is higher in female smokers as compared to male smokers, experts said.

“Smoking adversely affects male reproductive organs by decreasing ability to attain an erection. Additionally, it leads to erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Nicotine found in tobacco is responsible for erectile dysfunction and decrease in the sperm count”, experts said.

In women, smoking takes a toll on their reproductive health, and it can trigger infertility-related problems. “Smoking increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Multiple types of research conducted over many years show that smoking can lead to miscarriages. Smoking poses a risk to the unborn child as it can lead to physical as well as mental deformities in the fetus”, a number of experts from India and abroad warned.

Tobacco is responsible for the death of more than 7 million people annually. More than 6 million deaths are a result of direct exposure to tobacco and 0.89 million deaths are a result of being exposed to passive smoking.

It is surprising to note that passive smoking is more harmful than active smoking. In passive smoking, non-smokers are involuntarily exposed to the smoke emitted by cigarettes and the smoke exhaled by the smoker(s). Indirectly, they inhale the smoke. This gets absorbed by their bodies which takes a toll on their health.

Apart from deadly impact on reproductive organs of men and women both, smoking severely damages lungs, liver, skin and even the eyesight. “Smoking drastically affects the eyes. As a result, eyes start drooping and become watery. Additionally, an eye's ability to perceive objects is greatly reduced”, experts said.

“In addition, cigarette smoking also leads to some conditions related to loss of vision, macular degeneration, glaucoma and various eye-related diseases. When you smoke a cigarette, the smoke gathers into your eyes and the exhaled smoke cause further irritation to the eyes. Furthermore, smoking reduces the flow of blood to the eyes, which further disables antioxidants from reaching the optic nerve”, experts said.

To make people aware of the danger of smoking, the government of India routinely issues health warning. Few years back it was decided that health warnings along with images of people affected due to smoking should be printed on all cigarettes and tobacco product packs.

The government in the last week issued a fresh warning making the image on tobacco product packs bigger than earlier accompanied by a toll free number to assist and counsel people who want to quit smoking. “To quit smoking is difficult but not impossible”, a government official said.

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