Smoking, your Voice, your Music and the Cost


What is the cost? It cost 5yrs off Adele’s music career, Singer and co-writer of “rolling in the Deep” with over 736 million views on YouTube. Multiple Grammy award winner, Whitney Houston’s voice failure was no longer news. Whitney’s god mother and, soul legend, Aretha Franklin, conceded to smoking in order to lose weight, but was fortunate to quit due to damaging effects on her voice and the list goes on.
As a singer or vocalist, smoking is the worst habit you could develop in your career. It could reduce your life span by 10 years. Perhaps you do not smoke but you are exposed to smoking, that is known as passive smoking. It can also have damaging effect.
The medical dictionary defined smoking as the inhalation of the smoke of burning tobacco encased in cigarettes, pipes, and cigars . Nicotine found in tobacco is as addictive as cocaine and heroin. It creates a pleasant feeling that makes you want more.
Smoking is associated with a number of health risks,
          Respiratory infection including emphysema (emphysema is a disease involving damage to the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs which consequently leads to shortness of breath).
          Cancers: according to National Cancer Institute smoking has been found to be the leading cause of cancer and death. It causes cancers of lungs, esophagus, throat, mouth, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, cervix, colon, rectum et al.
          Smoking can lead erectile dysfunction.
          It other effects include bad breath, staining & premature aging of the skin. Lindsay Lohan, a star in the movie “Herbie”, “Just my Luck” only 25yrs at the time, yet looks 40 owing to drug abuse and excessive partying. A Paparazzi once mistook her for a 60-year-old star.
          It could also result in yellow teeth, gum disease and chronic cough.
Passive or second hand smoking
According to the National cancer institute, Inhaling secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in non-smoking adults (Approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths occur each year among adult non-smokers in the United States as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke).
It is estimated that living with a smoker increases a non-smoker’s chances of developing lung cancer by 20 to 30% . You might want to review clubbing habits.
Smoking and your voice
Effects of smoking on the voice;
1.      Tobacco smoke could result in irritation of the vocal cords causing them to swell and results in hoarse and raspy voice over time.
2.       Mucus production is increased due to irritation resulting in throat clearing and persistent cough.
3.      Reduced lung function is a consequence of smoking which invariably affects the singer’s ability to hold or hit certain notes
4.     Leukoplakia (pre cancerous growth or plagues on the vocal cords) is caused by smoking.
The way to avoid vocal and lung damage is to avoid smoking or second hand smoke.  If you are trying to quit smoking, there are nicotine gums, electric cigarette to help. However, you can consult your doctor for help. 
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