Dangers of Smoking
Smoking-related illnesses claim more American lives than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide and illegal drugs combined.
There are many dangers of smoking to the body, to the immediate family, to the society, to the environment and to the economy. More than 700 chemical additives are found in cigarettes. Some of them are classified as toxic and are not allowed in food.
Once lit, a cigarette reaches a temperature of nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This high heat helps release thousands of chemical compounds, including poisons like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, at least 43 carcinogens, and numerous mutagens. All of these are drawn into the body when a smoker inhales.
Dangers Of Smoking With Nicotine
One of the main dangers of smoking is due to Nicotine. Nicotine is found naturally in tobacco. It has no odor and no color. It is, however, both physically and psychologically addictive, and it causes those who use it to want to smoke one cigarette after another.
Nicotine enters the body as tiny droplets resting on particles of tar in cigarette smoke. Inhaled into the lungs, the drug passes quickly into the bloodstream, reaching the brain within about 10 seconds. In another 5 to 10 seconds the nicotine has spread to all parts of the body.
The nicotine raises both the heart rate and blood pressure. The smoker quickly feels more alert and relaxed. In less than 30 minutes, however, about half of the nicotine has left the bloodstream, and the smoker starts feeling less alert, more edgy.
So he or she reaches for another cigarette to get a new “hit” of nicotine. Over time, the smoker starts needing more cigarettes throughout the day to satisfy the craving.
Dangers Of Smoking With Tar
There are other dangers of smoking as well. The tar from tobacco smoke starts to accumulate on the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs. The hot smoke burns the tiny hairlike projections (called cilia) that trap harmful particles before they enter the lungs.
One more of the dangers of smoking are Carbon monoxide. Smoking also increases the level of carbon monoxide in the lungs. This poisonous gas is quickly absorbed into the blood, reducing its capacity to carry oxygen.
As a result, the smoker has to exert more physical effort to attain a given task than does a nonsmoker. The heart in particular must work harder, particularly during rigorous exercise. Increased levels of carbon monoxide in the blood can impair vision, perception of time, and coordination.
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