Short Term Effects of Tobacco

Some of the most common short term effects of Tobacco smoking are:

  • An awful breath

  • Bad taste in your mouth

  • Stained teeth / yellow teeth

  • Bad smell

But these are not the ones that affect you the most. It is the damage caused to the: respiratory system, limited athletic ability, getting addicted to nicotine, bronchitis and chronic cough that spoil the entire deal for you. With regular use you can not only cause serious damage to your body but experience limited ability in doing daily chores and other activities.

Short term effects of tobacco don’t leave out the chances of an increase in blood pressure or the heart rate. While enjoying tobacco provides short term stimulation of the nervous system which can help you de-stress and a significant loss of appetite, it certainly comes with a cost. Generally tobacco is consumed as cigarettes and this result in drying up of skin which definitely adds a number of years to your look. And if this was not enough, it does result in asthma and other breathing issues which can have long term adverse effects as well.

There are long term effects of taking tobacco on a daily basis, but that does not mean the short term effects of tobacco are not attention worthy. A detailed understanding is long overdue to fully grasp the fact that smoking or chewing tobacco cannot lead to something good other than strengthening the concept of a myth commonly known as temporary de-stressing.


How do the Short Term Effects of Tobacco Affect an Addict?



It is often believed that consumption of tobacco in any form can lead to de-stressing and relaxing. This is not the case. This is more of a misconception among tobacco enthusiasts who try to justify their habit. It in fact has been able to successfully increase stress levels once you are addicted.

Effect on chemical constituent

We are all familiar with the feel good hormone that is dopamine, the dopamine receptors of the brain begin to die out once you start smoking. This means that you now need to rely on tobacco to feel good.


The Heart-

Blood pressure
Blood pressure is without a doubt dependent on the heart rate. With the increase in the heart rate the blood pressure increases. A smoker’s heart has to work way harder to pump blood than a non-smoker’s heart, which results in an increase in blood pressure.



This means that tobacco consumption can lead to the blood vessel constriction which can multiply the chances of stroke. Tobacco consumers who suffer from sickle cell or atherosclerosis are more prone to this.


The Respiratory System-

The respiratory system can get badly affected in the short term, and has two very common effects of using tobacco which includes persistent cough and bronchospasms. Persistent cough results from the impairment of hair like structure in the lungs known as cilia which are responsible for keeping the airway clean, since there are impaired smokers feel the need to cough out the waste material to make way for the air. Bronchospasms are the result of not being able to breathe in oxygen as in the case of a normal person.


The Digestive System-

When it comes to short term effects of tobacco on the digestive system, you can expect everything starting from peptic ulcers, dental problem to heart burn. Because the stomach is unable to cope up with the acid and neutralize the effects with a strong base, the stomach lining gets affected due to continuous presence of acid and this can result in acid refluxes and heartburns.

These were some of the short term effects of tobacco, but before reaching any conclusion we must consider the importance of research to back up known facts and know for sure that we are not just assuming things.
Quit Smoking Today!
A clinical study published by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology was aimed at finding the effects of smoking on the arterial walls. This study is highly relevant for understanding the short term effects of tobacco on the body. It concluded that smoking 1 cigarette increased the blood pressure and heart rate. The diameter in elastic carotid artery did increase and dispensability decreased. The chances of a plaque rupture did increase but no long term effect other than increased heart rate was observed.  See table below:
Short Term Effects of Tobacco

The results of this table suggest that there is a significant raise in blood pressure, heart rate and cardiac function after smoking just 1 cigarette. These changes may be due to the numerous harmful chemicals that are inhaled during the smoking of tobacco which start sending the bodies organ functions into more, and more strain.

On the whole, the findings of this study highlight that the heart can encounter more harm for people who use tobacco. This makes it very important that tobacco addicts who have just survived from a recent heart attack to quit the smoking habit soon to reduce any heart related problems in the future.

Another study was published by The American Journal of Cardiology in 1990, which hoped to find the short and long term effects on smoking on the heart rate in various age groups and conditions. This study in its results stated that the vagal cardiac control decreased after 3 minutes of smoking a single cigarette. It also stated that in case of young people the vagal cardiac control suffered from a long term effect.

All of these studies go to show that short term effects of tobacco are not something that you can overlook and can easily lead to loss of vagal cardiac control, with increase in blood pressure and heart rate.

To learn more about the disadvantages of smoking, click here!



Effects of smoking on arterial wall properties – Journal of the American College of Cardiology – 1993 – By Mirian J.F. Kool, Arnold P.G. Hoeks, Harry A.J. Struijker Boudier

Short- and long-term effects of cigarette smoking on heart rate variability – The American Journal of Cardiology –  1990 – By Junichiro Hayano, Masami Yamada, Yusaku Sakakibara