The risks of smoking in relation to thyroid disease

Long-term smoking of combustible cigarettes affects all types of organs and systems within the body, especially the thyroid gland. On one hand, smoking worsens symptoms of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease, and on the other, it also increases the risk of developing disorders like Grave’s disease. With smoking habits shifting in favor of one’s health and well-being, there is an increased focus on flavored e-cigs and how e-cigs can help ex-smokers with their thyroid health as well.  

How does your thyroid function?

Tobacco smoke contains substances that affect both the function of the thyroid gland and the gland itself. Cyanide, which is a common ingredient in combustible cigarettes, converts to the chemical thiocyanate when it heats, which affects the thyroid function in three key ways:

  • It inhibits the uptake of iodine within the gland, reducing the production of the thyroid hormones
  • It inhibits hormone production by interfering with the synthesis process
  • It increases the excretion of iodine from the kidneys, heightening inflammation of the gland and causing additional symptoms such as fever, nausea, and stomach pain

Increased risk of thyroid cancer

As one of the top 10 most common types of cancers, smoking is a huge risk factor in the development of thyroid cancer—a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the thyroid gland. 

Are flavored e-cigs a good alternative to combustible cigarette smoking?

Quitting combustible cigarettes cold-turkey can be challenging, especially with the pressures of nicotine withdrawal. Not only do flavored e-cigs offer ex-smokers the convenience of choice—which device to use, the nicotine strength that meets their needs, and a wide selection of flavors—but they also help to lessen the risk of thyroid disease and cancer because there is no tobacco involved. 

Did you learn anything new after reading the above information about the risks of smoking and thyroid disease? Drop a comment below to compare with our readers.

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