Smoking is bad enough to avoid anyone – but what happens in the body when you smoke? Which organs are affected and what negative effects do smoking on your body have?

We have studied the negative effects of smoking on the human body in order to get a better understanding of exactly what happens when you inhale tobacco smoke.

How does smoking affect the body

For simplicity, we have gone from top to toe to describe the effects of the different organs and body functions on smoking. We start with our head and face and end with our feet.

The Brain

The chemicals you smoke go to the brain and the nicotine reaches the brain 10-15 seconds after you inhale the smoke. Once in the brain, the nicotine affects a lot of functions for more than 40-50 minutes after the smoke. Among other things, the nicotine affects the part of the brain that controls our mood.

Smokers tend to be happier and more relaxed for a short while after they have smoked. But when the brain does not get nicotine enough often, the withdrawal will kick off and the effect will instead be the opposite. You get anxious, light irritated, tired and sometimes angry.

Smoking blocks the arteries in the brain, which limits or closes blood supply. That is when stroke occurs. A smoker has just over one and a half more chance of getting stroke than a non-smoker.


Face and Skin

Smoking causes blood vessels to contract, which causes the skin to get blood and oxygen in sufficiently large amounts or sufficiently efficiently. As a result, smokers sometimes have a grayish face color and are easier to have wrinkles than non-smokers.

When you smoke, you get the smoke on your face and on your lips. You dry out your lips and face, while a lot of chemicals end up in your pores and in your system. Your skin ages faster, you get wrinkles and your skin becomes smoother. Poor skin is seen as a common side effect of smoking.

Increased risk of: cataracts, wrinkles and pimples
Mouth and teeth

Smoking causes yellow teeth due to the tar and nicotine in the cigarettes. The smoke itself dries out the mouth and mucous membranes, but also the chemicals destroy the gum and increase the risk of dental loss.


In the throat we have hairs that protect against infections and diseases. These hairs are destroyed when you smoke, which increases the risk of inflammation and disease. Dirt and bacteria therefore get easier and harm your body.


The lungs are severely damaged by smoking. Acids are needed for the brain and the heart to work. Smoking reduces the absorption of oxygen, which makes the body less efficiently absorb and deliver oxygen to the body’s entire body.


It may sound strange, but cigarette smoking affects the stomach to the highest extent. Above all gastric cataracts and stomach ulcers may come as a result of smoking. If you have stomach ulcers or gastric ulcer, it is highly recommended to quit smoking for faster healing.

Hands and Nails

Blood circulation deteriorates when you smoke and one of the symptoms is that your hands get cold and steal. Eczema can be a side effect of smoking as well. It is common for smokers to get yellow nails.

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