The effects of cigarette smoking - Essay Example

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: The Effects of Cigarette Smoking What main components in cigarettes affect the respiratory system? Explain their effects on specific organs, cells and/or processes in the respiratory system. Cigarettes are made up of dried tobacco leaves and chemicals meant to aid in even combustion…
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The effects of cigarette smoking
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Download file to see previous pages The tar that sticks onto alveoli’s tender surface reduces its contact with the blood vessels. Continued tar accumulation leads to lung cancer and other problems such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The hot smoke would cause an irritation on the tracheal and nasal passage tender linings causing throat inflammation. The over 4,000 harmful chemicals resulting from tobacco combustion clog the hair-like cilia occurring at the trachea and along the nasal passage, causing the loss of cilia’s fluidity. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC (2013), one cigarette has the potential of slowing down by 20 minutes the motion of cilia. This slowing down of cilia further inhibits the passage along of mucus which eventually clogs up along the trachea. Excessive mucus clogging causes smoker’s cough as the body tries to get rid of the mucus. Finally, the carbon monoxide released from smoking cigarettes, based on its higher affinity for hemoglobin than oxygen, attaches to the hemoglobin in red blood cells. The increased carbon monoxide amount in the blood impairs the transfer of oxygen from the blood to cells, which could distort time perception, visualization and cognitive skills. There are alternate mechanisms of transporting carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) in the blood. Explain how smoking might lead to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. On leaving the lungs, oxygen attaches to the hemoglobin occurring in red blood cells so as to be transported by blood. But according to Starr (2013), carbon monoxide, produced during cigarette smoking, has about 200 to 300 greater affinity for hemoglobin than oxygen hence greatly competes with oxygen for hemoglobin. The resultant increase in carbon monoxide concentration in the blood from the alveoli during cigarette smoking reduces blood oxygen levels. Additionally, the increased carbon monoxide levels impair oxygen from being released into the cells. The reaction of this carbon monoxide with the already minimal oxygen in the blood results in the release of carbon dioxide which consequently increases in concentration in the blood. Can smoking affect other organ systems of the body? Give specific examples and briefly explain your answer. Yes, smoking affects various organ systems of the body other than the respiratory system. By constricting blood vessels, particularly the arteries, and reducing oxygen supply in the circulatory system, cigarette smoking causes the heart to work harder in a compensatory effort. The nicotine which occurs in cigarette smoke, acting as a stimulant, increases the blood pressure and heart rate which could decrease blood flow through blood vessels. This could cause smokers to develop peripheral vascular disease. Cigarette smoking has also been associated with adverse effects on the reproductive system by CDC (2013). It leads to infertility, still births, pre-term delivery, sudden infant death syndrome and low birth weights. The carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke, which has a higher affinity for hemoglobin than oxygen, inhibits oxygen flow to the brain and could thus cause cognitive complications. Cigarette smoking also affects the digestive system by triggering a spike in stomach acids thus leading to chronic heartburn and even ulcers. The skin also gets affected by cigarette smoking. The tobacco smoke released into the environment ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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