Research Paper: Smoking These Days

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These days Smoking is considered as the major cause of the many dangerous diseases and the premature death, because of the hazardous and harmful contents, present in the tobacco smoke, that damage the human body. According to a U.S. Surgeon's General Report published in 2010, 'There is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke, and there is no safe tobacco product.' ("Smoking statistics: Illness," 2013)

WHO (World Health Organization) conducted a survey which showed that the annual death toll around the world as a result of tobacco use is about 6 million, which could rise up to 7 million by 2020 and even more than 8 million per year by 2030. ("Smoking statistics: Illness," 2013)

It has been estimated that about 8 in 10 non-smokers live past the age of 70 but only half of the long-term smokers live past 70. There are more than 60 carcinogenic (cancer causing) chemicals present in tobacco smoke. Smoking causes harm to almost every organ of the body, thus leading to dangerous diseases and ultimately death. ("Smoking statistics: Illness," 2013)

Effect of Cigarettes on the Respiratory System

A normal and healthy respiratory system protects the lungs from inhalation of smoke, dust and other substances which are harmful for health. ("Smoking - effects," 2013). The main components in cigarettes that affect the respiratory system include:

Tar: This term is used for miscellaneous particles that are suspended in the smoke of tobacco. It is sticky, brown in color and causes a stain in teeth, fingernails and also lung tissues. It is dangerous for health because it contains chemicals that have cancer-causing (carcinogen) substances. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

Free radicals: They can cause damage to main body parts like heart, muscles and blood vessels because they include highly reactive chemicals and they also cause a reaction with cholesterol which lead to the formation of fatty material on the walls of arteries. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

Metals: Smoke of tobacco also contains some dangerous metals like arsenic, cadmium and lead and almost all of these metals are considered as carcinogenic. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

Hydrogen cyanide: Lungs of human bodies have tiny hair known as cilia which prevent the lungs from foreign substances and help to keep them clean, but hydrogen cyanide stops the cleaning of the lungs and thus leads to the formation of some poisonous and hazardous chemicals in the lungs. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

Radioactive substances: Cigarette also contains some radioactive substances which are also a source of cancer (carcinogenic). ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

The following could be considered as relevant effects of the components on the respiratory system of the human body;

They are a source of irritation of the trachea (windpipe) and larynx (voice box)

These components lead to the reduction of the function of the lungs and also cause a condition of breathlessness in human body as they block the airways of the lungs.

They become a cause of lung infection, coughing and wheezing.

They hinder the lung clearance system as mentioned above.

Many health problems such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema also occur because of these components, which result in the restriction in the functions of the respiratory system. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

Smoking as a Source of Elevated Levels of CO2 in the Blood

Smoking leads to increased amounts of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the blood. It has been estimated that the amount of carbon dioxide in cigarette smoke is 200 times greater than the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere and the inhalation of concentrations more than 5% of that carbon dioxide cause a damaging effect on the lungs. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

Both carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are odorless gases which heavily affect the respiratory system by taking the place of oxygen in the blood. In human body each red blood cell contains a protein which is known as hemoglobin and all the oxygen molecules are transferred throughout the body through hemoglobin. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

However, if CO and CO2 are present in body in larger amounts, they bind with hemoglobin better than oxygen and thus hamper oxygen from reaching different parts of the body like brain, heart and other organs. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

Effects of Smoking on Other Organs and Systems of the Human Body

Smoking affects nearly every organ of the human body. Effects of smoking on various systems and organs of the human body are discussed below.

Effects on Circulatory System

Smoking effects on circulatory system include;

a) Increased blood pressure and heart rate;

b) Clotting of blood by making the blood more sticky;

c) A drop in temperature of the skin by the shrinking of the blood vessels in the skin;

d) Atherosclerosis by damaging the arteries because of the formation of fatty material on artery walls;

e) Decreased flow of blood to the extreme ends the of the body such as fingers, toes etc.; and f) Increased risk of heart attack as it leads to blockage of blood supply in the body. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

Effects on Immune System of Body

Smoking also affects the immune system of the body in many ways including:

a) It reduces the work rate of immune system and damages health;

b) It causes infections which include influenza and pneumonia;

c) It causes many severe illnesses which cannot be easily recovered;

d) It decreases the levels or amounts of protective antioxidants in blood; and e) It leads towards lower levels of protective antioxidants (such as Vitamin C), in the blood. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

Effects on Musculoskeletal System of Body

Its effects on the musculoskeletal system are as follows;

a) Tightening of certain muscles of the body;

b) It leads to a reduced density of bones of the human body;

c) It reduces the rate and quality of bone healing;

d) It leads to a reduce rate of wound healing; and e) Sometimes it also becomes a cause of back pain in the body. ("Smoking - effects," 2013)

Correlation between Cellular Respiration and Respiratory System

Cellular respiration generally refers to the path of biochemical reactions through which the cells liberate energy from food molecules through their chemical bonds and then use this amount of energy for the vital processes of life. ("Smoking statistics: Illness," 2013)

Cellular respiration is generally carried out by all the living cells and it is of two types; Aerobic respiration (which is carried out in the presence of oxygen) and Anaerobic respiration (which is carried out in the absence of oxygen). ("Smoking statistics: Illness," 2013)

Cellular respiration includes events like; Breathing (movement of air in and out of the lungs), External Respiration (interchanging of gases between the air in the lungs and blood), Gas Transport by Blood (transfer of oxygen to body cells and the return of carbon dioxide) and thus it becomes a part of the respiratory system. So we can say that they are directly co-related. If there would be no respiration in the lungs we will not have any cellular respiration. ("Smoking statistics: Illness," 2013)

Smokeless Tobacco

It is present in the tobacco products that are not burned. It is also known as spit tobacco, chewing tobacco, dip, and plug etc.. It usually comes in two forms; Snuff tobacco and Chewing tobacco. ("Smokeless tobacco products," 2013)

It is as hazardous as the tobacco with smoke because it contains the similar chemical (nicotine) which is highly addictive. It has been estimated nicotine in smokeless tobacco is 3-4 times the amount of nicotine in a cigarette because smokeless tobacco has more than 28 carcinogenic substances. ("Health effects of," 2008)

Chewing of tobacco leads to a number of hazardous effects on the human body. The U.S. Surgeon General in 1986 came to the conclusion that the smokeless tobacco 'is not a safe substitute for smoking cigarettes. It can cause cancer and a number of other harmful noncancerous conditions and can lead to nicotine addiction and dependence.' In 1991, the National Cancer Institute also suggested the public not to use tobacco products even if they are smokeless due to the presence of nitrosamines in higher amounts. A recent study has also indicated that oral tobacco products (smokeless tobacco) cannot be considered as a good substitute for smoking cigarettes because these oral tobacco products have a high amount of nicotine which is very dangerous and harmful for health. ("Smokeless tobacco products," 2013)

Short-term health effects of smokeless tobacco include:

a) Bad breath and stained teeth;

b) Diseases such as ulcers;

c) Formation of cavities;

d) Increased the blood pressure, etc.

e) Although it is smokeless but it also leads to addiction due to the presence of nicotine,

f) It destroys the sense of taste and smell;

g) It leads to decrement in the athletic ability of a body; and h) It also causes problems such as dizziness and nausea. ("Smokeless tobacco and," 2008)

Long-term health effects of smokeless tobacco are:

a) It causes oral cancer and lung cancer;

b) It causes gingivitis (a gum disease) which… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Smoking These Days.  (2013, May 25).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Smoking These Days."  25 May 2013.  Web.  23 May 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Smoking These Days."  May 25, 2013.  Accessed May 23, 2019.