What is the impact of smoking on height?

Height is influenced by several crucial factors in our daily lives. To achieve the desired height, it is necessary to eliminate the factors that hinder growth. One of the serious issues that affects height development is smoking. Let’s explore together how smoking impacts the growth process of adolescents through the following article on Sachainchi.vn.

Composition of cigarettes

Cigarettes are made up of various components, including:


Nicotine is found in all tobacco products and some e-cigarette liquids. It produces a temporary feeling of pleasure and relaxation. It also increases heart rate and the amount of oxygen the heart uses. Nicotine entering the body causes an increase in endorphins – pain-relieving and mood-enhancing chemicals. Our bodies absorb nicotine into the bloodstream and brain very quickly. The concentration of nicotine peaks after it enters the body, making the smoker feel more comfortable.

Nicotine also increases dopamine levels – a neurotransmitter. As a result, smokers feel happier for a short period. Absorbing a lot of nicotine through cigarettes can impair cognitive function and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Nicotine has negative effects on most organs in the body, including the nervous system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, and skeletal system.


Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas produced when smoking. When carbon monoxide enters the lungs through inhaling, it binds with the hemoglobin in red blood cells to form carboxyhemoglobin, which is then transported into the blood. At this point, your body will replace the oxygen in red blood cells with carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin much faster than oxygen (about 200 times faster). Therefore, when CO is present in the lungs, it will take over the position of red blood cells. This process reduces the ability to transport oxygen in the blood. The lack of oxygen in the cells also forces the heart to work harder to distribute oxygen throughout the body, leading to heart disease, including chest pain and arterial plaque.

A carbon monoxide saturation level over 1% can cause physical symptoms such as:

  • Increased heart rate.
  • Reduced performance during exercise.
  • Headaches and visual disturbances.


Tar is a sticky brown substance that can cause teeth and fingers of smokers to turn yellow-brown. Tar contains dangerous carcinogenic particles that can harm human health. Tar damages the lungs by narrowing the small tubes (bronchioles), reducing the ability to absorb oxygen. They also damage the small hair-like fibers (cilia) that protect the lungs from dirt and infections. This can lead to a range of lung diseases, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Harmful chemicals

Some harmful chemicals in cigarettes include benzene, arsenic, and formaldehyde. Benzene is a familiar carcinogenic substance found in insecticides. The concentration of benzene in cigarettes is quite high and can harm many vital organs when it enters the body. Meanwhile, formaldehyde irritates the throat, nose, and eyes of smokers. That’s why regular smokers often suffer from nasal inflammation, sore throat, and reduced vision.

Does smoking stunt height growth?

The answer is YES, as cigarettes contain many harmful substances that damage the body. These toxins cause changes in metabolism, impede nutrient transport, and harm many vital organs, including bones. Harmful chemicals in cigarettes can inhibit the bone regeneration process, even causing bone loss or osteoporosis in a short period. Weak bones are more prone to damage and can impede height growth.

Joints of smokers are also weaker, and the risk of low-grade inflammation is considerable. Negative effects on organs such as the heart, lungs, and digestive system make adolescents less healthy. The ability to absorb nutrients also decreases, making it difficult to reach their height potential, even with a balanced diet.

What are the effects of smoking on height growth?


Reduced nutrient absorption

The harmful toxins in cigarettes can affect the digestive system, leading to various digestive disorders such as colon polyps, gastric and duodenal ulcers, pancreatitis, Crohn’s disease, etc. This can lead to impaired nutrient absorption, causing you to eat poorly and depriving your organs, including your bones, of the nourishment they need to grow properly. Even if you have a well-balanced diet, smoking regularly can cause the nutrients to be quickly eliminated or altered before they can reach the targeted organs.

Weakened bones

Smoking can be detrimental to bone health, including bone lengthening and the ability to heal bone injuries. Weak bones make it difficult for children and adolescents to achieve normal height growth rates, and they may even suffer from stunted growth in the future. Some specific effects of smoking on bones include:

  • Reduced blood supply to bones and many tissues in the body.
  • Slower bone cell production (osteoblasts) making it difficult to regenerate and grow in length.
  • Impaired calcium absorption, the most important nutrient for building and maintaining strong bones.
  • Negative impact on hormone balance, including estrogen, which is necessary for building and maintaining strong bones in both males and females.
  • Higher risk of hip fractures in smokers.

Heart and lung problems

The lungs are the most affected by smoking. Up to 90% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. Many respiratory diseases occur in people who smoke regularly. In addition, smoking is also not good for the heart, and can lead to diseases such as coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and stroke. The lungs and heart are two important organs, once weakened, will affect the overall functioning of the body, including height development.

Nervous system effects

Smoking has a very negative effect on the nervous system in general and the brain in particular. A weak nervous system can make teenagers eat, exercise, or rest with low efficiency. These are important factors that determine a child’s height. Prolonged conditions can make the body difficult to develop physically, making it difficult to achieve a normal height, and with a high risk of becoming stunted when fully grown.

Factors that negatively affect height and should be avoided:

Poor nutrition

Diet accounts for about 32% of a person’s height potential. Fast food, processed foods, excessively sweet or salty foods, etc. cannot provide adequate nutrition for children and teenagers who are still growing. Eating too many of these foods can cause deficiencies in essential nutrients and significantly reduce growth rate.

However, these are the types of foods that often attract children, making them want to eat more. To help children grow taller, parents should limit their intake of these types of foods. Instead, they should provide meals that are rich in nutrients and balanced according to recommended nutritional requirements to promote rapid height growth and balance the body.

Lack of physical activity

Children in modern life are prone to being lazy due to habits of sitting in one place for too long to watch TV, use computers, or mobile phones. Lack of exercise can cause the bones and joints to lose 20% of their potential for height development, making it difficult to protect bone and joint health. Encourage children to exercise by helping with some household chores, encouraging them to engage in sports, and physical activities such as cycling, yoga, running, jumping rope, swimming, volleyball, basketball, and badminton.

Late-night eating

Most bone development occurs when the body is resting, especially during nighttime sleep. The growth hormone is produced the most around 11 pm to 1 am when the body reaches deep sleep. Staying up too late, especially after 10 pm, affects the growth of bones, as well as the synthesis of hormones, and metabolism. Children and adolescents who often stay up late tend to have a slower growth rate.


Being overweight or obese means that the body has excess fat. Fat puts pressure on the bones, making them unable to grow or stretch. Overweight/obesity is the result of an unscientific diet (especially eating a lot of fast food, soft drinks, and fatty foods), lack of exercise, and physical activity. To develop height effectively, children need to maintain a stable height and balance with their current height.

In addition to being beneficial for bone health and bone development, quitting smoking also reduces the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and many other health problems. If you have this habit, quit smoking or stay away from smoking to protect your body and improve your height growth rate. At the same time, develop a healthy lifestyle with a scientific diet, regular exercise, and proper rest (utilizing time under 20 years old) to maximize your potential height.

Trần Nguyễn Hoa Linh

Hi everyone, I’m Tran Nguyen Hoa Linh, an expert in the field of increasing height. Currently, I am working at Sachainchi VN, a website that shares useful knowledge and experiences in improving body height.

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