“World No-Tobacco Day” comes around every year on May 31. You may wonder why our expert podiatrists are interested in such an observance. Well, for starters, we’re concerned about the overall health of our patients. No doubt you know that smoking tobacco is really bad for your health. It greatly increases your risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease, damages every organ in your body, and leads to an early death.
What you may not know is that smoking has a direct, negative effect on your feet.
FACT: The chemicals in cigarettes, including nicotine, will eventually harm your blood vessels.
Your feet can suffer from peripheral arterial disease (PAD). With PAD, blood vessels are narrowed and blood can’t travel easily to your lower limbs. The result is cold feet, pain in your lower limbs, and dangerously slow healing of foot wounds.
FACT: Smoking damages your nervous system.
The nerve endings in your feet that enable you to sense hot, cold, touch, and pain can stop working as a result of smoking. Your feet become numb and vulnerable to injury.
FACT: Vaping is not better.
Vaping became popular beginning in 2007 as an alternative to cigarette smoking. Using various devices (“pens,” “mods,” and “e-cigarettes”), people inhale vapors that contain chemicals and flavorings. E-cigarettes are advertised as less dangerous than regular cigarettes. However, one of the most popular types of e-cigarettes, Juul, actually contains more nicotine than a cigarette. That means they’re potentially even more addictive. Children and teens are attracted to Juul and other forms of vaping because they come in enticing, fruity flavors. Vaping is a quick way to get kids addicted to nicotine, with all the same health risks to feet as cigarette smoking.
Take the World No-Tobacco Day challenge and stop smoking or vaping for 24 hours. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit for good. Contact Montgomery Foot Care Specialists in Montgomery County if you’re a smoker with concerns about your foot health. Call us at (334) 396-3668 for an appointment with Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts or Dr. Heidi M. Christie at our Montgomery, Alabama podiatry office or contact us online.