Smoking and Lung Disease

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Lung Diseases.
Lung Disease and Smoking
- Nicotine in cigarettes affects the lungs by:
o Causing the bronchioles in the lungs to constrict ­ this reduces the air
flow in and out of the lungs
o Paralysing cilia which are meant to remove the dirt and bacteria from
the trachea
o Raising blood pressure and heart rate ­ this increases the risk of CHD
- Carbon Monoxide poisons the red blood cells by attaching to the haemoglobin
which means that oxygen won't be able to be carried by the haemoglobin ­
oxygen won't be delivered to cells and muscle tissue around the body. This can
cause a reduction in the ability to do hard exercise, breathlessness and an
increase in the risk of heart disease and the heart's muscle tissue need the
oxygen to pump the blood and stay alive.
- Tars can stick to cells in the lungs and release
carcinogenic free radicals into the cells which increases
the risk of cancer, especially in the lungs.
o Free radicals are unstable, chemically incomplete
substances that `steal' electrons from other
molecules.
Highly reactive chemicals which can damage other chemicals
such as enzymes, reducing their efficiency
Can also damage DNA ­ this may lead to cancers
Medical scientists believe that free radicals contribute to at
least 50 other major diseases inc. Atherosclerosis, heart disease
and lung disease.
Anti-oxidants in our diet (especially Vitamins A, C and E) get rid
of free radicals which enables us to cope with small amounts.
In the UK, it is estimated that the need for Vitamin C of smokers
could be twice as much as non-smokers
- Tars can also irritate and damage the lung tissue both mechanically and
chemically ­ this can lead to emphysema and bronchitis

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Emphysema and Bronchitis
- Emphysema is caused by a breakdown
of the thin walls of the alveoli,
decreasing the total surface area for
gas exchange
o Symptoms inc. Chronic breathlessness, coughing, wheezing and a
reduction in the tolerance for exercise
- Bronchitis is an inflammation in the linings of the airways to the lungs.…read more

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