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Smoking and health

Smoking is just a bad habit. It has no positiveeffects on the organism, but can contribute to development of anumber of dangerous and life-threatening respiratory system diseases.Beside the direct negative consequences on the organism of thesmoker, smoking also pollutes air and forces the nearby persons tosmoke passively, as they inhale all the particles from the tobaccosmoke that the smoker inhales. Nonsmokers health is thus exposed todeterioration for no reason.

Why is smoking bad for health?

We breathe because our cells need oxygen formetabolic processes, and because our cells need to get rid of thetoxic carbon dioxide that is a product of the metabolism. Oxygen is aconstituent of the air and we take it in through the lungs. Carbondioxide is released in the atmosphere, also through the lungs. Beforethe air reaches the lungs, it needs to get there. It is inhaledthrough the nose (or the mouth) and then travels to the lungs throughthe ducts of the respiratory system, namely, the pharynx, thetrachea, and then it enters the lungs through the bronchi. In there,air travels through a system of branching ducts until it reaches thealveoli, where the exchange of gases between the air and the bloodtakes place.

The lungs are never completely emptied when we exhale, assome portion of air always remains inside. In smokers, this air isfull of dangerous particles that damage the walls of the lungs, orcan cause other, more sinister types of damage. Tobacco contains asubstance known as nicotine, and a certain amount of tar. Nicotine isa highly toxic substance which gradually kills cells. A substanceknown as benzopyrene is found in the tar. It is a known lung cancertrigger. Particles of tar stick to the sensitive passageways andsurface of alveoli and block gas exchange.

Carbon monoxide, whichbinds to hemoglobin, the compound of red blood cells that carriesoxygen, causes lack of oxygen in the blood and exposes the organismto gradual suffocation. Another compound of the tobacco smoke ishydrogen cyanide, which induces the build up of hydrocarbons, nitrousoxides, and oxidizing agents in the lungs. These chemicals damage theblood vessels and the heart and lead to health risks such as heartdisease and stroke. Carcinogenic metals such as cadmium and lead arealso found in the tobacco smoke. This is caused by the greatground-cleansing properties of the tobacco plant, as it is known toextract heavy metals and similar pollutants from the ground andstores them in its leaves.

Tobacco addiction is related to nicotine addiction.Like all other addictions, it is connected with a strong feeling ofdiscomfort when the substance that created the addiction is not takenregularly. Attempt to give up the habit is stressful and painful,both emotionally and physically, and many people are unable to bitethe bullet, continuing with this slow poisoning.

Diseases and conditions caused by smoking

It is known that smoking causes mouth cancer, lungcancer and throat cancer. It also causes chronic bronchitis and makesit hard to breathe. Miscarriages and premature deliveries are closelyconnected with smoking during pregnancy.

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