Healthy Eating and the Negative Impact of Smoking

Tobacco use destroys the ability to fully taste, smell, and enjoy food. This initial impact is only the beginning to smoking’s hindrance of healthy eating habits.

man and woman enjoying dinner

Smoking cigarettes affects nearly every organ in the human body. It also destroys our body’s ability to function properly in other ways, as well. Smoking affects our nutrition and diet, and our eating habits. This worsens a smokers’ already poor health, adding to mounting bodily damage. According to Good Food, Dr. Andy McEwen from the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training makes the assertion that smoking affects diet and nutrition in numerous ways. One of the first things to remember about food, is attractiveness. Sight, smell, and taste help to ignite the desire to eat. If something does not look, smell, or taste good – we probably won’t want to eat it.

Initial Impacts

For starters, smoking cigarettes negatively affects an individual’s sense of smell through inflammation of the nasal passages, leading to irritation. Smoking also contributes to the destruction of the taste buds, dulling the sense of taste. Smoking further hinders the body’s ability to absorb many vitamins and minerals. This is especially true in the case of calcium and vitamins C and D. Poor circulation due to smoking continues to contribute to vitamin deficiencies.

Eating Habits

According to, nicotine and appetite are related. However, most people are under the impression that smoking simply suppresses the appetite. It is understood that this is the central cause for weight gain when quitting, but it is actually a little more complicated than that. Studies have shown that the opposite effect may occur in heavy smokers. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has issued a report stating that heavy smokers may experience abdominal obesity and insulin resistance.

Healthy Eating and the Negative Impact of Smoking: How Does it Work?

Cigarettes activate a neural pathway in the brain which, in light smokers, suppresses appetite. However, this is not a benefit. In fact, it is the opposite. When cigarettes suppress the appetite, an unhealthy weight loss occurs, but it is not a significant amount to begin with. In addition, smoking causes a number of health issues including asthma and emphysema. These conditions alone make it nearly impossible to exercise. In the absence of exercise, fat buildup occurs. In the long-term, smoking can be linked to obesity, as well as numerous additional negative health-related effects, diseases, and cancers.

Replacements and Alternative Methods

We have established so far, that smoking negatively affects healthy eating habits, but what’s next? The next step after understanding these effects, is to quit smoking. Finding replacements and alternative methods will assist individuals in quitting for good and remaining abstinent. One option is the use of NRTs.

This “habit” is often the most difficult aspect to overcome. Although there are many methods which address the aspects of nicotine withdrawal symptoms, e-cigarettes address the actionable sequences relative to the act of smoking. Finding a viable replacement for smoking cigarettes is an invaluable aspect to regaining healthy eating habits, and continuing good health. Furthering the replacement concept, is alternative methods to daily actions or routines. This will offer renewed stamina, healthy eating habits, and increased brain and body function. Establishing a healthy exercise regimen will assist in the development of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Published: March 2, 2015 Updated: April 5, 2019


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