Your brain on smoking

It’s easy to see how smoking analogs is bad for your lungs, but cigs actually affect the whole body, your brain included. Cigarette smoking can lead to strokes, dementia and other awful conditions of the brain and nervous system.

Any addictive substance alters the brain in some way, and nicotine is no exception. However, it is not only that chemical that damages nervous system function. Smoking blocks what’s called the carotid artery, which supplies the brain with oxygenated blood. In simple terms, it’s the big fat artery in your neck that victims are always getting slashed in for especially bloody deaths in horror films. The blocking of this artery leads to stroke, which is why smokers are 1.5 more likely to suffer a stroke than non-smokers.

In a recent study, which surveyed smokers, ex-smokers and nonsmokers in their early 70s, it was revealed that people who smoked or had smoked had a thinner cortex than those who never had. The cortex is the outer layer of the brain and is where our functions for memory, language and perception are held. But who needs those things anyway, right?

Other studies have found that smoking during middle age leads to a much higher chance of Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is due to the damage done to blood flow to the brain as we mentioned before, as well as inflammation, which occurs when the brain responds to some of the ingredients in cigs by releasing white blood cells. 

So if you thought smoking was just bad for your lungs, unfortunately, you thought wrong. There is constantly more research being done that shows how analogs mess with your entire body. Pretty soon the news will just have to start covering what parts of the body don’t get harmed by cigs.