AS Biology F212 Smoking

Simplified but detail notes for revision, not quite finished yet! :)

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Tar (short term effects)

  • Combination of chemicals (carinogens)

Short term effects:

  • settles on lining of the airways increasing diffusion distance for the oxygen entering the blood, decreasing CO2 diffusion out of the blood
  • may cause allergic reaction (smooth muscle contracts restricting airflow to alveoli)
  • can paralyse/destroy cilia - can't move mucus away and up the mouth
  • stimulate goblet cells produce more mucus-collecting in airways
  • leads to bacteria and viruses becoming trapped in mucus, multipling and may block bronchioles
  • Making smokers more suspectible to infections such as influenza and pneumonia
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Tar (long term effects)

Smokers cough

  • attempting to move mucus up the throat (irritates airways)
  • the cough causes damage to the airways, this gets replaced with scar tissue
  • this is thicker and less flexible-reducing lumen airway/permanently restricted


  • inflame the lining of the airways-damaging the epithelium lining
  • this will attract WBC to deal with pathogenic organisms-making way out of the blood/airways by releasing enzymes
  • these digest the linings of the lungs (e.g. sometimes the enzyme elastase is released and damages elastic tissue in the lungs)
  • greatly effect the bronchioles + alveoli as the walls can't recoil to push out air
  • bronchioles can collapse preventing air out of the alveoli causing pressure on alveoli so they burst.
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  • Chemical causing addiction
  • as the body becomes used to the effects, the smoker feels unwell unless they have nicotine in their blood
  • mimics the action of transmitter substances at the synapses between nerves making nervous system more sensitive (making them feel more alert)
  • Releases hormone adrenaline: increases heart rate/breathing rate, constricts the arterioles= raising blood pressure
  • reduces blood flow and oxygen delivery
  • makes platelets sticky, increasing risk of blood clot
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Carbon Monoxide

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danii oluyomi



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