Youngsters who smoke may be at risk of developing low bone density -- a condition that may lead to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, experts said.
"Smoking has a negative effect on the bones, causing loss of bone mass and, eventually, premature osteoporosis when young people take up smoking," Raju Vaishya, Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon, at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Smoking as a habit typically begins in high school or the college years, when bones are still developing. It also interferes with calcium and vitamin D absorption in the body. Besides, in case of a bone injury, a person who smokes is more likely to have a longer period of recovery and greater risk of complication, doctors noted.
"Smoking during the years of bone-building puts you at risk of osteoporosis in later stage. Smoking after 30 will speed up loss of bone mass almost twice as faster," Vaishya added.
Smoking kills over one million people in the India annually, according to The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India report. The economic burden of tobacco consumption is around Rs 104,500 crore per annum.
In a study, recently published in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society, smoking was found to be an independent risk factors for low bone density among both men and women.
Each additional pack-year of smoking raised the odds of having low bone density by 0.4 per cent. The participants with normal bone density had an average of 36.6 pack-year of smoking, while those with low bone density had an average of 46.9 pack-years of smoking history.