Effects of smoking on the body.

We know that cigarette smoking is injurious to health. This substance which enters the lungs and comes out in the form of cloud of smoke is chemical called nicotine. Nicotine is one essential ingredient of tobacco from which cigarettes are made. When a person smokes, most of the nicotine escapes into air. When a little is absorbed, about one third gets into the mouth. Of what goes into the lungs, about one fifth is absorbed. So faster one smokes, the more nicotine one gets.


Nicotine is a violent poison. But smoking doesn’t kill a person immediately partly because the human body slowly builds up a tolerance for the dose of poison that is not in sufficient quantities in smoke.

The nicotine in the tobacco smoke increases the pulse rate and steps up the blood flow. This may at first increase the brain’s blood supply, bring it more blood sugar and thus relieve fatigue. But smoke also contains carbon monoxide to counterbalance the lift he gets from nicotine by putting a strain on the heart, making it work faster. Smokers tend to have a 50 percent higher incidence of palpitation of heart compared to non smokers. While a person smokes, the blood pressure rises but falls back to normal on stopping to smoke. Nicotine constricts the veins and blood vessels especially on hands and feet reducing the blood flow to hands. Lungs are the worst affected organ but can return to normal if one quits smoking.


Smoking interferes with the appetite and suppresses the feeling of hunger. When hungry, the stomach walls contracts giving us a sensation of hunger. But when one smokes, these contractions are suppressed. Excessive smoking also causes gastritis, acid accumulation in the stomach causes acidity. Everything returns to normal when one stops smoking.


Smoking also plays with the skin by slowly causing the destruction of collagen and elastin. These fibers give the skin its strength and elasticity. Long term smokers develop gum problems, bad breadth and stained teeth. How does tobacco contribute to cardiovascular diseases and deaths?



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