Is Smoking Bad?

Smoking is commonly believed to be “bad” for health. It’s rare for a person to argue with that in the 21st century.

But what does smoking actually do to the human body to make it such a health issue?

An immediate connection is made between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, since the idea behind smoking cigarettes is to inhale the smoke into the lungs. The contents of the tobacco, when heated and inhale, make their way into the lungs and the bloodstream to have their effect on the smoker. But lung cancer is just one result of smoking for some people.

Cigarette tobacco contains dozens of different chemicals and additives that can have a negative effect on the human body. The chemicals that are in cigarette tobacco (or have been at one time) include: nicotine, ammonia, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. All of these are either true poisons or strong chemicals better used in other places.

Without considering that extensive smoking may cause cancer, let’s look at some earlier effects on the lungs. When a person inhales cigarette smoke, the small parts of the lungs called alveoli are damaged or destroyed. Alveoli are small air sacks that help the lungs take in oxygen for use throughout the body. A smoker is “short of breath’ primarily because his or her lungs cannot process the oxygen properly.

Smokers are also more likely to have problems breathing because of dust and natural pollens because the small cilia in the lungs are destroyed and can’t help keep the lungs clean. Medical studies have also found that the nicotine put into the body by smoking may make us feel good for a short time. However, this powerful chemical is a poison that can damage mouth, throat and lung tissue.

Smoking also has these negative effects on the body:

Smoke irritates the eyes because of its content and its temperature
Blood pressure increases because blood vessels are constricted by nicotine. The heart works harder to move blood through the vessels.
Added carbon monoxide from smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, which can lead to numerous health issues.
Tar that enters the body in cigarette smoke becomes more solid again in the body and damages sensitive tissue of the mouth, throat, esophagus and lungs.

Why is Smoking BadExtensive medical research shows that cigarette smoking causes negative changes in the body beyond the lungs. Bones and muscles have been shown to deteriorate in smokers for various reasons, including depriving healthy tissue of needed oxygen. A vicious circle is created when general weakness in many parts of the body cause the heart to work harder, wearing it out much more quickly than would happen otherwise.

Cigarette smoking may even have some serious effects in the human brain. Poor circulation reduces blood flow to the brain, inhibiting brain function and mental clarity. This may lead to strokes and other brain problems because the blood vessels in the brain are so small and delicate.

In short, cigarette smoking is generally considered bad for human health.

Category: Addictions, Health

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