The Effects of Smoking on the Body
Almost one third of the World’s population are smokers for one reason
or another, appearance, reduce stress etc. However, I, and many
others, find it very difficult to believe smoking can aid anyone’s
appearance as it encourages early ageing, and I do not believe that
any of the risks that smoking has is worth any amount of stress relief
that it can provide.
Cigarette smoking can have serious health effects on the human body.
Smoking causes a variety of life threatening diseases. This is because
they contain more than 4,000 chemicals (www.click2quit.co.uk),
including 43 of which cause cancer (www.betterhealthchannel.com.au).
Nicotine is a substance in cigarettes which although does not cause
cancer itself, it is a highly addictive drug that is toxic and
potentially lethal (www.click2quit.co.uk). Apart from its use in
tobacco products, nicotine is a scheduled poison. Tobacco smoke
contains many dangerous chemicals, the most damaging of which are;
tar, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia,
metals and radioactive compounds. These all contribute in seriously
harming the body’s health through a variety of diseases.
Smoking is shown to have harmful effects on most if not all areas of
the body. The circulatory system can suffer from raised blood
pressure, thrombosis, atherosclerosis and increased risk of stroke and
heart attack due to blockages of the blood supply caused by the build
up of fatty deposits on tightening artery walls and blood vessels.
Smoking can also prevent blood flow to extremities, result in the
tightening of muscles and reduced bone density damaging the
musculoskeletal system (www.betterhealthchannel.com.au). Not only does
it harm many of the body’s organ systems but it also can reduce
fertility in both male and females and from long term smoking can
cause all types of cancer, lung diseases, coronary artery disease,
osteoporosis and ulcers of the digestive system.
However, the most easily affected area of the body damaged by smoking
is the respiratory system. It can cause irritation of the trachea
(windpipe) and larynx (voice box) as well as reduced lung function and
breathlessness due to swelling and narrowing of the lung airways and
excess mucus in the lung passages (Letts Revise Biology The Ultimate
Study Guide). These can be caused by many cigarette contents. Tar is
the collective term for various particles suspended in tobacco smoke.
It contains the carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene that is known to trigger
tumour development (cancer). Not only does tar trigger tumour
development but it also coats the alveoli with its sticky substance,
which slows down the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. Animal
experiments have shown that nitrogen oxides damage the lungs in such a
way that they cause the lung...