What are the effects of cigarette smoke on the respiratory system?

30 August 2014
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30 August 2014, Comments: 0

It is important to note that a vigorous respiratory system is specifically structured to guard the lungs from intermittent inhalation of dust, smoke and other injurious substances. Cigarette smoking will not only damage the protective mechanism of the respiratory system, but continues to damage it with detrimental substances on a daily basis. Even the secondhand smoke that is inhaled by non-smokers can cause damage.

Proper breathing supplies oxygen for the growth of cells and vital functions in the body. The lungs, airways and blood vessels that endure constant damage could not properly maintain this balance. In no time, the effects of cigarette smoke will disrupt the overall physical condition of the individual.

What are the types of exposure?

Exposure to cigarette smoke has similar effects on the respiratory system regardless of how it is ingested. Those who use tobacco inhale the mainstream smoke via the cigarette and the secondhand smoke present in the air. Based on studies, it was discovered that breathing any amount of secondhand smoke increases the risk for various health problems. Both children and adults can inhale secondhand smoke and pregnant women can transmit it to their developing babies.

The toxic substances that stick with the clothes and hair can contaminate the indoor environment. Children are highly vulnerable to these third-hand substances.

What are the effects on respiration?

Both bronchial and throat irritation can occur by inhaling first-hand or secondhand cigarette smoke. As time passes by, the bronchi of individuals who smoke end up scarred. Health issues such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis can develop, thus drastically limiting the respiration.

Cigarette smoke

The breathing obstruction can limit oxygen from entering the bloodstream to the heart.

The breathing obstruction can limit oxygen from entering the bloodstream to the heart. Atherosclerosis due to the smoking can lead to the constriction of the pulmonary blood vessels that transport oxygenated blood to the heart. This will limit the level of oxygen pumped all over the body. You can learn more about respiratory conditions by enrolling in a first aid course.

What are the effects on immunity?

It is important to note that cigarettes are comprised of several carcinogens. The daily habit of smoking will increase the risk of the individual for respiratory cancer until the chances of develop lung cancer is higher than normal. Additionally, smoking is known is cause cancer of the larynx, mouth, throat, lungs and blood.

Important considerations to bear in mind

The indications of respiratory system irritation due to exposure to first-hand and secondhand smoke include wheezing, coughing, phlegm production and shortness of breath. Respiratory failure can be determined by recurrent infections such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis. Chronic cases of bronchitis are defined by daily smoker’s cough while emphysema is distinguished by difficultly exhaling.

Since respiratory issues progress at a slow rate, individuals who are affected by cigarette smoke might not seek treatment until a serious condition has developed. It is important to note that smokers who have chronic bronchitis and emphysema might suffer from heart failure and other potentially fatal cardiopulmonary issues.

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