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How Does Cigarette Smoking Affect The Respiratory System

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Cigarette smoking can damage the respiratory system greatly. There are six major parts of the respiratory system that are damaged as a result of smoking. The cilia, mucus membranes, alveoli, capillaries, and surfactant and water layers of the lungs all face damage. Normally, respiratory tubules produce mucus that coat our body and trap infectious organisms, dirt, and other unwanted substances. Cilia, small hairs, have a function that essentially eliminates these unwanted substances by sweeping it towards the mouth. When someone inhales smoke, these cilia slow down their motion. They do not move as fast as they would. Eventually, as one continues to smoke, the cilia face paralysis and will disappear in time. Smokers typically develop a cough…show more content…
It is interesting to know that smokers often produce a lot more mucus than non-smokers do, and there is a reason for this. When smoke goes through the naval cavity, a large burden is placed on the mucus membrane, and this membrane is not designed to handle how much smoke does go through. This smoke takes a toll on the glands that secrete mucus and as a result, they aren't able to produce mucus normally. The mucus membrane helps to prevent infection by secreting mucus. Tobacco smoke also harms our blood cells and capillaries. One example includes atherosclerosis. This is when plaque starts to build up in our arteries and even narrows our blood vessels. With narrowed blood vessels comes an increase in blood pressure which in turn is very unhealthy for our heart function. Less air also goings through our capillaries when we smoke because of this loss in elasticity. Capillaries are responsible for transferring oxygen that is in our blood into the tissues. It is the tissues of the pulmonary surfactant that are first exposed to the dangers of smoking. The smoke we inhale first go to the lining of the pulmonary surfactant. The surfactant is made up of phospholipids and proteins, so it is a good defense against this smoke. However, in the end the smoke affects this system, especially a developing system. The water layers of the lung are damaged because they start to dry out. This is the same with the surfactant
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