Aside from addiction, cigarette smoking is linked to many horrible side effects including cancers. For men, it can contribute to low testosterone, deterioration of sexual health including the inability to achieve and sustain erections known as erectile dysfunction. Therefore, men won’t have no benefit from ED treatment even using a penile pump if he smokes either lightly or heavily.
In 1987, one study1 suggested that age-related brain deterioration increased by chronic smoking. What’s more freigtening, another study2 published in Nature’s Molecular Psychiatry in 2015 found cigarette smoking is linked to the shrinking of brain’s cortex.
The researchers found that individuals who smoke cigarettes have thinner brain cortexes, which is the outer part of the brain responsible for cognitive function compared to those who quit smoking. The brain cortex is vital because this is the part of the brain that involves in functions like spatial reasoning and attention. Hence, the shrinking of the brain cortex can lead to a diminished cognition similar to people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
The lead author of the study, Dr. S. Karama said;
If the cortex is broken, the brain is broken.
Although there’s a limitation of this study as it’s observational, the data can’t be ignored. Fortunately, when smokers quit smoking, the thickness of the cortex increases each year provided they totally quit smoking. The normal size of the brain cortex restored its thickness after an average of 25 years without smoking any cigarettes.
It’s unclear what causes the shrinkage of the brain cortex whether it’s the nicotine or other loads of harmful chemicals in the cigarette. Researchers theorized that it could be due to lung damaged through cigarette smoking and it disrupts the body’s ability to process oxygen to the brain.
Smokers need to be informed that cigarettes are associated with accelerated cortical thinning, a biomarker of cognitive aging. Importantly, cortical thinning can persist for many years after smoking cessation. The potential to at least partially recover from smoking-related thinning might serve as a strong motivational argument to encourage smoking cessation.
If you want to avoid the shrinking of your brain cortex, the recommendation is simple, quit smoking. Additionally, shifting towards good nutrition and healthy lifestyle practices are also beneficial to the cortex, the brain in general and overall health.
Lastly, cigarette smoking increases nicotine receptors on the brain. This is why withdrawal symptoms is apparent upon quitting.
While it may be a struggle for most smokers to quit smoking, the benefits await on the other side. Even though the symptoms occur upon quitting smoking, there are many good things happening inside the body as it begin to restore its function back to normal.
Some smokers experienced coughing after quitting smoking. It may seem a bad sign, but it’s really not.