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Effects of Smoking on the Human Body - Essay Example

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Human Body [Name of Student] [Name of Institution] Harmful Chemicals of Cigarettes and Their Effects on the Respiratory System Tobacco contains quite a number of harmful chemicals, which smokers inhale. The three main harmful chemicals in tobacco are carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar…
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Effects of Smoking on the Human Body
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Download file to see previous pages Once inhaled, carbon monoxide reaches the blood stream through the lungs and alveoli, it binds to the hemoglobin portion of the red blood cells, forming a stable compound called carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb). The stability of the compound is due to the fact that hemoglobin has a 200–250 times higher affinity for carbon monoxide than it has for oxygen. Thus, the oxygen-carrying capacity of the hemoglobin is reduced, limiting oxygen supply to cells and tissues. The diseases caused by limited oxygen in the blood include cardiovascular disease, stroke, and circulatory problems. Tar on the other hand, accumulates in the lung, causing the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchi, the trachea, and the bronchioles, damages the lungs, reduces the size of the airway. Smoke thus interferes with the functioning of the respiratory system and causes chronic bronchitis and persistent cough. Tar also damages the cilia on the upper portions of the respiratory system and increases phlegm production. Finally, the chemicals in smoke damage the lungs, reduce lung surface area and affect the alveoli’s’ functionality. Lung cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), mouth and throat cancer, and increased asthma symptoms are the other respiratory effects of smoking (National Cancer Institute, 2008). ...
One of the mechanisms by which smoking leads to elevated CO2 levels in the blood is that the harmful chemicals in the smoke damages the alveoli of the lungs. This damage implies that the CO2 formed in other parts of the body and transported to the lungs for elimination is not efficiently eliminated at the alveoli surfaces, leading to increased levels of CO2 in the blood. How Smoking Affects other Organ Systems Besides the respiratory system, smoking affects other organ systems such as the circulatory system. In this system, smoking causes the blood clotting, blockages and narrowing of blood vessels, increased risks of strokes and heart attacks, increased blood pressure, palpitations. These conditions cause various infections that might require procedures such as amputation. The nervous system and the brain are also affected by tobacco smoking, which decreases oxygen supply to the brain as hemoglobin combines with carbon monoxide. The normal functioning of the CNS is affected as delicate nerve endings are damages and blood supply interfered with (The New York Times, 2002). Additionally, smoking causes attention deficit and memory problems. The immune system is also affected by the tobacco toxins that enter the body via smoking so that the functioning of the white blood cells is impaired. Thus, the body becomes vulnerable to infections. The reproductive system is also not spared by smoking, which may cause erectile dysfunction, impotency, sterility, menopause, and low weight births. Correlating Cellular Respiration with the Respiratory System The correlation between cellular respiration and the respiratory system is rather clear. For instance, minus cellular respiration in the lungs, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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