Question #a146b

1 Answer

When you smoke, within the first few seconds, a mix of gases is released around your eyes, nose and throat.

Your eyes may water, your nose might run, and your throat may become irritated.

Tiny hairs called cilia work to clean your bronchial tubes and lungs of foreign matter. Cigarette smoke paralyzes and can even kill the cilia.

Inside the lungs, cigarette smoke damages the scavenger cells that work to remove foreign particles from the tiny air sacs called alveoli.

Much of what you inhale turns to tar. About 70 % of cigarette tar remains in your throat and lungs. The tar kills healthy lung cells and can cause cancer.

Your bloodstream absorbs many of the chemicals in cigarette smoke into your bloodstream. From here they go straight to your heart and from there, everywhere else in your body. Your heart begins to beat faster as soon as you light up, by as much as 10 to 25 beats per minute.

Smoke can also cause an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia.

The oxygen level in your blood drops because the carbon monoxide in the smoke sticks preferentially to the hemoglobin. Your body's cells still need oxygen, so your heart must work harder to supply it.

If you continue to smoke, your senses of taste and smell will slowly fade, thanks to the tar that coats your tongue and nasal passages.

There are more than 4 000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. These include

• more than 70 cancer-causing chemicals,
• hundreds of other poisons
• nicotine, a highly addictive drug
• additives designed to make cigarettes taste better and keep smokers hooked.

Some of the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke are:

• Arsenic
• Benzene
• Cadmium
• Formaldehyde
• Polonium-210
• Chromium
• 1,3-Butadiene
• Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
• Nitrosamines
• Acrolein

Don't take my word for it. Do a web search to discover the chemicals in cigarette smoke and why they are carcinogenic or poisonous.

Hope this helps.