OCR AS Biology - Smoking

Overview of smoking and its effects.

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  • Created by: Izzy
  • Created on: 08-04-12 10:58

Short term effects

  • Chemicals Increases the diffusion distance in the alveoli.
  • The chemicals may cause an allergic reaction.
  • Tar paralyses or destroys the cilia meaning that mucus cant be moved. This means that mucus collects in the airways.
  • Bacteria and viruses become trapped in the mucus. This means that smokers are more likely to catch diseases such as influenza and pneumonia. 
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Long term effects

  • Smokers cough, to move the excess mucus from the lungs. The coughing can damage the lining of the airways.
  • Smooth muscle thickens and reduces the lumen of the airway.
  • Enzymes to fight the virus may digest some of the airway lining. This can lead to bronchioles collapsing.
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Lung Cancer

  • Cigarette smoke contains a large number of carcinogenic compounds (that cause cancer).
  • They enter the nucleus and have an effect on the genetic material. This is called a mutation.
  • This can cause an uncontrolled cell division which is cancer.
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Chronic Bronchitis

  • It is the inflammation of the lining of the airways.
  •  The damage of the cilia and overproduction of mucus leads to an build up of mucus in the lungs.
  • Irritation of the lungs, continual coughing and coughing up mucus filled with bacteria and red blood cells. They are some of the symptoms.
  • It leads to an increased risk of lung infection.
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  • Loss of elasticity in the alveoli causing them to burst.This causes a reduced surface area.
  • It can cause someone to be out of breath more easily and can be hard to exhale.
  • In severe cases the breathing will become shallow and more rapid. The blood is less well oxygenated and fatigue occurs.
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