Effects of Smoking on Health Essay

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Effects of Smoking on Health Smoking is the act of inhaling the fumes of burning substances. It used to be men who mainly smoked pipes and cigars which involve little inhalation. Now a days the amount of young women and children smoking is on the increase although the overall amount of people who smoke is declining in most countries.

There are thought to be around 4000 different chemical in a cigarette, many are toxic and 43 of them are carcinogens. The main substances in a cigarette are tar, carbon monoxide and nicotine. It is these three substances which cause the greatest threat to health causing damage to either the gaseous exchange or the cardiovascular system.
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In time the ciliated epithelia are replaced by scar tissue and the muscle around the bronchioles become thicker. It is the narrowing of the bronchioles which cause the difficulty in breathing.

Due to the constant infection of the lungs caused by the tar in cigarettes emphysema can develop. This disease is caused by the constant infection of the lungs that causes phagocytes to leave the blood and line the airways. Phagocytes release a protein digesting enzyme called elastase, which destroys the elastin in the walls of the alveoli so that it can reach the surface to remove the bacteria. The elastin makes the alveoli recoil when we breathe out. If this becomes damaged i.e. less elastin in present, then it does not stretch and recoil as it should. This causes air to become trapped in the alveoli because the bronchioles collapse as we exhale. Often the alveoli burst and cause large spaces in the tissue; this decreases the area for gas exchange. Eventually the blood vessels become resistant to the flow of blood and increase the blood pressure of the patient. A patient with emphysema may need a constant supply of oxygen when it becomes worse and will suffer from increasing wheezing and coughing.

Lung cancer is another disease caused by tar. Tar is a carcinogen that reacts either directly or through the break down of other substances, with DNA in
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