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The Effects Of Smoking On The Lungs

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Eva Sorensen The Effects Of Smoking On The Lungs Smoking has been linked with a number of serious illnesses, such as lung cancer and cancer of the oral cavity, oesophagus and larynx. Tobacco smoking is responsible for nearly all cases of a chronic breathing obstruction known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD. COPD includes diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and leaves sufferers breathless and unable to do many activities. Cigarette smoke has chemicals that can make normal cells change into cancer cells. Some of the contents are: * Nicotine - the addictive drug in tobacco, which increases the smoker's blood pressure and heart rate. Concentrated nicotine is a deadly poison and is widely used as insecticide. * Carbon Monoxide - a poisonous gas produced by burning tobacco, which is absorbed into the bloodstream where it decreases the amount oxygen available to body, and forces the heart to work harder. ...read more.


The filters in most cigarettes reduce the amount of large particles and allow some dilution with air, but let most of the harmful chemicals into the lungs. The tar content of cigarette smoke damages the cells in the airway of the lung. Eventually this damage can produce cells that grow uncontrollably, leading to cancer of the larynx, or voice box. Lung cancer is the disease of the smoker, with 90% of primary lung cancers caused by smoking. Nearly one in four smokers who die prematurely will die of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the UK. The risk of developing lung cancer is directly related to the number of cigarettes smoked. The cancer develops from cells within the lungs, the bronchi (air passages leading to the wind pipe) ...read more.


Every time smoke from a cigarette is inhaled, some alveoli are killed. This is where the oxygen that you breathe in is transferred into the blood. The alveoli don't grow back, so a part of your lungs is permanently destroyed. Smoking paralyses the cilia that line the lungs. Cilia are little hair like structures that move back and forth to sweep particles out of your lungs. When you smoke, the cilia can't move and can't do their job. So dust, pollen, and other things that are inhaled sit in the lungs and build up. The mucus collects in the bronchial tubes and this results in "smoker's cough." If the mucus becomes infected, you may get chronic bronchitis. As a result of "smoker's cough," repeated coughing may cause the walls of the alveoli to break down into air spaces. This reduces the surface area over which gas exchange can take place, so you get short of breath. This condition is called emphysema, which ultimately is a life threatening illness. ...read more.

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