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Cigarette Smoking and Your Lungs

Cigarette Smoking and Your Lungs

Every organ in the human body plays a vital role in keeping it healthy and functioning properly because it can breathe easily and carry out its everyday chores without much effort. Generally, healthy people are not frequently aware of their organs, such as their lungs; harm to these essential organs can result in significant illness and even death. 


Smoking cigarettes can damage lung tissue, impairing its capacity to function and raising the chance of developing diseases including emphysema, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Your lungs' main job is to eliminate carbon dioxide as waste during exhalation and to transport oxygen-rich blood from the air you take in into the other parts of your body. While no tobacco product is completely safe, cigarettes and other combustible products are particularly harmful to the lungs.


Risks of Particle Pollution:


Studies have connected exposure to particle pollution to several adverse impacts on respiratory health, including:


  • Respiratory signs such as coughing up mucus and wheezing
  • A sudden reversible decline in lung capacity
  • Inflammation of the lungs and airways (this is acute and neutrophilic)
  • Respiratory hyperreactivity
  • Rapid phase change
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Respiratory trips to the emergency room
  • Admissions for respiratory conditions
  • Decreased lung function in youngsters
  • Adult pulmonary function reduction due to chronic disease
  • development of asthma
  • Premature death among those with a chronic lung condition

Particle pollution-related health impacts are more likely to affect those with heart or lung illness, elderly people, children, people with diabetes, and people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.


Even in seemingly healthy individuals, prolonged exposure to increased particle pollution will decrease respiratory function. This is true even though the respiratory system has amazing resistance to air pollution, thanks to its recurrent mobilization of defense and repair systems. Therefore, even if we cannot prevent exposure to particulate pollution, taking modest measures to decrease exposure can lessen the severity of the negative effects on the lungs and the overall health of both healthy and more sensitive individuals.


Effect of Smoking:


Your lungs and airways undergo significant alterations as a result of smoking cigarettes. While illnesses like the common cold and pneumonia occur suddenly and only last a short while, emphysema develops gradually and can persist for a lifetime.


When you smoke, the following changes take place in your lungs and airways:


Mucus and infection: Smoking promotes the development of cells that produce mucus in your lungs and airways, which causes the mucus to thicken and produce more of it. Since your lungs are unable to remove the extra mucus, it remains in your airways, clogs them, and causes you to cough, this extra mucus has a high risk of infection. Smoking impairs your lungs' natural defense system because it speeds up lung aging.


Lesser airflows: Every cigarette you smoke irritates, inflames, and makes your lungs cough. Smoking harms the lungs and tissues, diminishing the air gaps and blood arteries in the lungs, which can reduce oxygen supply to vital body components.


Reduced cilia: A broom-like hair called cilia lines the lungs. Their main job is to maintain the lungs' cleanliness. The cilia's movement slows down as you start a cigarette, and it frequently continues to slow down for a few hours. Smoking for an extended period causes the cilia of the lungs to decrease, allowing fewer to clean the organ.

Smokers Lungs:


Your health may suffer immediate consequences if you smoke cigarettes. More than 7,000 different compounds are mixed in one cigarette puff. The poisonous compounds are transferred by the blood to the rest of your body when you breathe this in, since the smoke enters your lungs fast. Carbon monoxide, a dangerous chemical found in cigarette smoking, replaces oxygen in your blood, robbing your organs of the oxygen they require.


Acrolein is one of the additional compounds in cigarette smoke that can damage the lungs irreparably and, even in small doses, induce a throat infection in 10 minutes. Smoking cigarettes can have serious effects on the lungs at any age. Teenagers who smoke cigarettes can develop smaller, weaker lungs that never expand to full size and never work at their fullest capacity, much like babies whose mothers smoked while pregnant may have lungs that develop improperly. Smoking can also damage the cilia, or microscopic hairs, in your airways that keep debris and mucus from entering your lungs. You get what is known as "smoker's cough," a persistent cough that is frequently observed in long-term or daily smokers when these cilia are damaged.


Smoking-related lung damage does not stop there. Smoking is the primary cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD) in 8 out of 10 patients.


Thus, among the most significant steps a person can take to enhance their health is to stop smoking. Regardless of the age or length of smoking, this is accurate. While there are larger health advantages to stopping earlier in life, quitting smoking is good for your health at any age. Quitting smoking will be beneficial for everyone, even if they have smoked for a long time or heavily.

Dr. Tanay Joshi
Respiratory & Sleep Medicine
Meet The Doctor
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