Smoking

An article regarding smoking, what it contains and how it affects your body. By Bryan Tan
Smoking is considered as many, a form of relaxation and status. Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 known chemicals in them, as well as over 50 known carcinogens (cancer diseases). Examples include arsenic (rat poison), formaldehyde (embalming fluid, used to preserve dead people/animals), ammonia (used in household cleaning) and cyanide (deadly poison). Even though these chemicals are harmful to your body, this is not what causes addiction. The drug that people are addicted to is called nicotine. Nicotine is found in cigarettes. When inhaled, the nicotine in the cigarette is carried through the bloodstream, to the brain where it sends responses to the nerves to stimulate. However, since the nicotine·s effect wears off after about 30 minutes, smokers find themselves taking another cigarette to induce more nicotine into their bloodstream. Nicotine has the effect of making your blood pressure rise, restrict the heart pumping blood through arteries, therefore oxygen can't get past it, to the muscles. Ciliated epithelial cells are found in the nose and trachea. They are also found in the lining from the ovaries to the uterus, used to move the ovum to the uterus. The hairs on the cilia make a wave, which creates a current. This current attracts the dust and bacteria particles towards the ciliated epithelial tissue. The goblet cell produces mucus which the dust and bacteria are trapped inside. This mucus cell is moved by the current up to the throat where the person can choose whether to spit it out or to swallow it, where it will dissolve in the stomach.

Ciliated cells are also affected by tar. On the top, is a healthy epithelial cell, while on the bottom, is a ciliated cell coated with tar from smoking. The effect from smoking on the ciliated epithelial cells in the trachea and lung are that the cilia become damaged and inflamed (such as the picture on the bottom right). This causes the cilia hairs to not move as fast. This allows the dust and bacteria to be inhaled into the lungs. This allows the lungs to be susceptible to inflammation and disease. Even though some bacteria is trapped in the mucus, the cilia is to damaged to create a current to move the mucus upward and allows the bacteria to multiply. Carbon monoxide is another substance which is harmful to the body. The CO enters the lungs, with the tar and oxygen. It then diffuses into the bloodstream which attaches to the red blood cells. Since carbon monoxide has a stronger affinity with haemoglobin, more of the carbon monoxide bonds with the haemoglobin rather than the oxygen, leading to shortness of breath, while breathing and exercising. Because of this smokers tend to quit exercising, because of smoking. Carbon monoxide also releases fat deposits in the heart, which circulates in the bloodstream. This causes the arteries to become clogged and will eventually lead to a heart disease or a heart attack. Since the effect in carbon monoxide causes the oxygen content in the haemoglobin to become more attached to the red blood cell. This in turn does not allow the oxygen to diffuse into muscles. Another effect of tobacco smoke is bronchitis (chronic). This is the inflammation of the bronchi. This is usually defined as persistent coughing, and mucus being produced from the trachea. This is also detected by shortness of breath, or wheezing. Tar and carbon monoxide are the main cause for this because if the tar coats the lungs, the oxygen becomes harder to diffuse. The carbon monoxide also

reduces the amount of oxygen that can be diffused into the muscles. Because of this, less air can be exchanged with carbon dioxide. Since the cilia is damaged by the tar, this can cause the bacteria to manifest on the mucus. As explained before, this forces the smoker to forcefully cough out the phlegm (mucus). Emphysema is another disease which is similar to bronchitis. Emphysema is considered the loss of elasticity in the lungs. One of the reasons this happens is because the structures that support the alveoli have been destroyed. This leads to a lack of air, or an increased breathing rate. This also can be the cause of air being trapped in your lungs. The people who often have this disease usually hyperventilate to retain a sufficient amount of oxygen in their lungs. Since haemoglobin has a red appearance, they are usually bright pink in the face. Emphysema is usually found in elderly people with a history of smoking. The smoke that is produced by cigarette smoke trapped inside the lungs. This causes the lungs to become inflamed. Chemicals which are released during the inflammation period cause the walls of the alveoli to break down. Eventually, the heart starts to pump more and more blood. This leads to blood pressure rising, and more heart problems.

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