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Cigarette Smoke and The Body

The effects of cigarette smoking in man
This document is about the effects of cigarette on the lungs, blood and how the components of cigarette smoke affect the body.

Kaci Richards

Ms. Spencer


Table of Contents What is Nicotine? The effect of cigarette smoke on The lungs and blood Components of cigarette smoke How would you encourage someone to stop smoking? Bibliography 7 5 6 3 3


What is Nicotine?
Nicotine is a toxic colorless or yellowish oily liquid that is the chief active ingredient of tobacco. Nicotine also used in insecticides acts as a stimulant in small doses, but in larger amounts blocks the action of autonomic nerve and skeletal muscle cells.

What is the effect of cigarette smoking on the:
Loss of lung elasticity - When inhaling the lungs expands and is pulled back to their original state by the
elastic tissues lining the inner walls. When you smoke, these elastic tissues get damaged due to deposits of tar. After a period of continual smoking, these tissues get so rigid that they fail to perform their function, so the lungs stay in an expanded state making it difficult to exhale. This condition is called emphysema.

Mucus clogs - The cigarette tar sticks to the thin hair like cilia along the nasal and throat passage causing
them to get clogged. The function of cilia is to push the dirt accumulated mucus onto the mouth or nose for disposal. Once the cilium gets clogged it can no longer perform its function properly leading to mucus accumulation in the throat and nasal passage. Smoker cough is a common symptom among regular smokers, which is an attempt by the body to forcibly release the clogged mucus.

Dirt filtering reduction - Another side effect of clogged cilia is that they fail to filter out the harmful
chemicals in the cigarette smoke, with time these chemicals start accumulating in the linings of alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs. Clogged alveoli are dangerous because it hampers the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange with blood leading to decreased oxygen supply to the heart.


Malfunction of Air sacs - The air sacs lose their elasticity because of tar deposits and hence fail to expand and contract with each breath leading to congested air pockets. Many air sacs rupture because of undue pressure caused by these air pockets.

Carcinogenic deposits in the lungs - Continued deposits of tar along the linings of the lungs (over
extended periods) lead to cell degeneration. Most of the chemicals present in the tar are carcinogenic in nature and hence are toxic to the living cells in the inner walls of the lungs. With time the accumulation of toxic chemicals forces the body to create a tumor around the affected area. The tar in cigarette smoke damages cells in the airways of your lungs. Eventually this damage can produce cells that grow uncontrollably - leading to cancer of the lung or voice box (larynx).

The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells. They also can damage the function of your heart and the structure and function of your blood vessels. This damage causes high blood pressure and heart rate, constriction (tightening) of blood vessels in the skin, resulting in a drop in skin temperature, less oxygen being carried by the blood, stickier blood, which is more prone to clotting, reduced blood flow to extremities like fingers and toes, increased risk of stroke and heart attack due to blockages of the blood supply, damage to the lining of the arteries, which is thought to be a contributing factor to atherosclerosis (the build-up of fatty deposits on the artery walls)
The image shows how smoking can affect arteries in the heart and legs. Figure A shows the location of coronary heart disease and peripheral arterial disease. Figure B shows a detailed view of a leg artery with atherosclerosis—plaque buildup that's partially blocking blood flow. Figure C shows a detailed view of a coronary (heart) artery with atherosclerosis.


What are the components of cigarette smoke?
Tar – this is the collective term for all the various particles suspended in tobacco smoke. The particles contain
chemicals including several cancer-causing substances. Tar is sticky and brown and stains teeth, fingernails and lung tissue and when inhaled it sticks to the tiny hairs on the lungs, the cilia which normally protect the lungs from dirt and infection. Tar also coats the walls of the whole respiration system, narrowing the tubes that transport air (the bronchioles) and reducing elasticity of the lungs. Tar contains the carcinogen benzoapyrene that is known to trigger tumor development (cancer).

Carbon monoxide – is an odourless gas which is fatal in large doses because it takes the place of oxygen in
the blood. Each red blood cell contains a protein called hemoglobin – oxygen molecules are transported around the body by binding to, or hanging onto, this protein. However, carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin better than oxygen. This means that less oxygen reaches the brain, heart, muscles and other organs.

Hydrogen cyanide – the lungs contain tiny hairs (cilia) that help to clean the lungs by moving foreign
substances out. Hydrogen cyanide stops this lung clearance system from working properly, which means the poisonous chemicals in tobacco smoke can build up inside the lungs. Other chemicals in smoke that damage the lungs include hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides, organic acids, phenols and oxidizing agents.

Free radicals – these highly reactive chemicals can damage the heart muscles and blood vessels. They react
with cholesterol, leading to the build-up of fatty material on artery walls. Their actions lead to heart disease, stroke and blood vessel disease.

Metals – tobacco smoke contains dangerous metals including arsenic, cadmium and lead. Several of these
metals are carcinogenic.

Radioactive compounds – tobacco smoke contains radioactive compounds, which are known to be

Nicotine - This is the addictive component of tobacco. It causes smokers to feel good because of the
neurotransmitters that it releases. It also causes a surge of heart rate, blood pressure, and adrenaline.

How would you encourage someone to stop smoking?
To encourage someone to stop smoke I would take them to a support group and get them a nicotine patch to help with the nicotine cravings. I would point out all the health benefits of stopping smoking and all the diseases that a smoker may experience; I will also let them know that they are not only hurting themselves but others around them as second hand smoke also kills. I would try to be understanding and to not criticize my friend’s attempt to quit. If that does not work I would let them read the story about Bryan Curtis who started smoking at 13, never thinking that 20 years later it would kill him and leave a wife and child alone or take them to an hospital so that they can see and hear people who are suffering from emphysema.
Picture Of Bryan Cutis And Family


Bibliography &oq=emph&aq=0&aqi=g5&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=925914aed6ad288&biw=102 4&bih=677

Atwaroo-ali.L.2003.CXC Biology.Between Towns Road, Oxford ox4 3pp. Macmillan Publishers Limited.