Does smoking affect height?

by   |   Jun 12, 2024

The news just keeps getting worse for regular smokers. It is already common knowledge that smoking causes heart disease, stroke, emphysema, asthma, lung cancer, and tooth decay. But can it also stunt the development of teens and adolescents? Read the following article to find out!

Health effects of regular smoking

Before finding out to what degree smoking can affect your height, let’s look at the overall symptoms and effects of smoking on the body.

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Respiratory system damage

Because a person inhales nicotine with many other substances when they smoke, their lungs are severely harmed. Approximately 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths, according to the CDC [1], are caused by smoking. Smoking can also cause lung conditions like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and COPD. 

Digestive system damage

You may be surprised to know that smoking also has a negative impact on organs that do not come into direct contact with the smoke itself. Direct or indirect toxic effects, immunological impacts, and carcinogenic consequences are the main harmful effects of smoking on the liver.

According to clinical data, smoking has a detrimental effect on the formation of hepatocellular carcinoma, the advancement of fibrosis, and the severity of fatty liver disease. About 40% of individuals with liver illness had a smoking history, and more research is being done on the possible effects of smoking on chronic liver disorders. 

Sexuality and reproductive system damage

Smoking can lower sex hormone levels in both men and women. This is because the blood flow to the genital areas of both sexes is heavily affected by nicotine, which can cause both men and women to have less sexual energy and experience more sexual dissatisfaction.

Does smoking affect height?

Technically, yes, if you start smoking at an early age.

Teenage boys who smoke are typically 2.54 cm shorter than non-smokers, according to research that was published online on March 17 in the journal Annals of Epidemiology. According to the study, the influence on boys’ heights may be due to the fact that they are still developing when they start smoking.

Besides, regular smoking can hinder not only your personal growth but also the growth of those around you. According to a 1984 study, children whose mothers smoked 10 or more cigarettes per day had an average height that was 0.65 cm shorter than that of children whose mothers did not smoke.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much research available on the influence of smoking cigarettes on growth. Therefore, it is much safer to say smoking can stunt your growth rather than height.

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How Does Smoking Stunt Your Growth?

A 2008 study found that smoking had a negative impact on endochondral ossification during skeletal development [2]. Nicotine is said to be the major component behind this as it can potentially slow or inhibit growth by reducing smokers’ appetite, however other compounds in cigarettes should also be taken into account.

How to Quit Smoking?

It could be challenging to stop smoking right away if you have been a habitual smoker for a long time. Some people might turn to e-cigarettes to reduce their addiction but this isn’t a good idea as e-cigarettes haven’t been demonstrated to be effective in helping people quit smoking.

Here are some other methods you can try to slowly get rid of smoking:

Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

When you stop smoking suddenly, a lack of nicotine can cause headaches, drain your energy, and have an impact on your mood. Nicotine replacement therapy is a medically recognized strategy to treat people with tobacco use disorders. It is used to help cease chewing tobacco or smoking. Here are some specific forms of NRT so you can have a closer look:

  • Nicotine gum is a type of chewing gum that provides the body with nicotine. When you use the gum as directed, nicotine enters your body by being absorbed through the mouth’s lining.
  • Nicotine lozenges are tablets that contain a small amount of nicotine. A lozenge is placed between your gumline and cheek, and you gently inhale it while letting it disintegrate. As the nicotine is absorbed by the mouth lining, it enters your circulation.
  • The nicotine inhaler is a device that gives you a small dose of nicotine. As you breathe in, nicotine vapor is released from a cartridge within the nicotine inhaler. The nicotine enters your blood after being absorbed by the lining of your tongue and throat.

Avoid Alcohol and Other Triggers

When you drink alcohol, it’s always harder to stick to your no-smoking goal. So try to limit alcohol if you are determined to quit smoking. Likewise, if you often smoke when drinking coffee, consider switching to tea or other healthy drinks. If you usually smoke after having meals, find something else to do instead, like take a walk, talk to a friend, or chew gum.

Have a support system 

Sharing your intentions of quitting cigarettes with family and close friends can give you more motivation. Be honest with them about your feelings and struggles so they can understand what they can do to help you.

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How to reduce the risk of smoking too much? 

Using liver supplements

As already mentioned, smoking constantly can leave many harmful effects on your liver. Liver supplements have detoxing properties, which can enhance the liver’s resistance to stressors, protect against free radicals, and block toxins from entering the liver cells.

However, there are only a few liver detox products that can be trusted on the current market, for example, LiverTox , Oweli, and Vitapost, etc.

Lung supplements

Your lungs, part of your respiratory system, are constantly working to keep you alive by providing oxygen to the body and expelling carbon dioxide.

Unfortunately, smoking regularly can heavily damage lung health. Some research suggests that certain dietary supplements, such as vitamins and minerals, may help people with medical conditions that affect lung function, as well as those who wish to support their lung health in general.

Some noteworthy products on the market are Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Vitamin C, Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3, and Thorne Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder.

Vitamin C supplements

Vitamin C supplements not only increase Vitamin C levels, but also Vitamin E. Research has shown that taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C supplements per day could reduce by up to 45 percent the rate of vitamin E disappearance in smokers. These supplements provided smokers with the same level of antioxidant protection from free radical damage as non-smokers. 

In conclusion

Smoking has many negative effects on your body and health. In addition to having a negative impact on smokers’ health, smoking can also stunt one’s growth. Quitting smoking at any age is always a better option for your health. If you have just recently stopped smoking or are planning to, you can try some of the mentioned above methods to speed up the smoking cessation process.

Jay Lauer

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