Smoking and Health

Smoking and health

-As a ciggarette burns it produces a smoke cocktail of around 4000 chemicals 

-If you smoke you breathe this cocktail straight into your lungs 

-You absorb some of these chemicals into your bloodstream 

-This carries them aroud  your body to your brain 

-Nicotine is the addicitve drug in tabacco smoke

-It makes people feel calm, contented and able to cope. 

-But you gradually need more and more of the drug to get the same effect

-So the number of ciggarettes people smoke each day usually increases over the years

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Smoking related diseases

-If you are an non-smoker, small hairs in your breathing system are constantly moving mucus away from your lungs 

-The mucus traps dirt,dust and bacteria from the air you breathe in

-If you smoke, each ciggarette anaesthetises these hairs

-They stop working for a time, allowing dirt down into your lungs 

-This makes you much more likely to suffer from colds and other infections

-The mucus also builds up and causes coughing 

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Smoking related diseases 2

-Tar is a sticky balck chemical in tabacco smoke that builds up in your lungs, turning them from pink to grey

-It makes smokers much more likely to develop bronchitis 

-The build up of tar in your lungs can also lead to the delicate air sacs in the lungs breaking down 

-We call this emphysema, it makes the lungs much less efficient. Your breathing becomes difficult and you can't get enough oxygen

-Tar is also a major carcinogen (a cancer causing substance). A build up of tar can cause lung cancer 

-Smoking raises your blood pressure and makes it more likely that your blood vessels will become blocked.

-Most people want to give up but nicotine is addictive so it isn't easy 

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Smoking and pregnancy

-Carbon monoixde is very poinsonous gas found in cigarette smoke. It is picked up by your red blood cells

-This reduces the amount of oxygen carried in your blood. After smoking a cigarette, up to 10% of a smoker's blood will be carrying carbon monoxide rather than oxygen

-Carbon monoxide in cigarettes affects pregnant women in particular. During pregnancy a women need oxygen, for her own cells and the developing fetus

-if she smokes, the amount of oxygen in her blood will be lower than normal. This means her fetus will be diprived of oxygen. Then it may not grow as well as it should

-Mums who smoke when they are pregnant have much of a higher risk of having; 

  • A premature birth (baby born too early so may struggle to survive)
  • A baby with a low birth mass (more at risk of developing problems)
  • A still birth (the baby is born dead) 
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