Smoking And Its Toll On The Lungs

Smoking—cigarettes, cigars, pipes, marijuana, and even electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes—can have a harmful effect on our entire body, but especially on the respiratory system. This includes our airways, lungs, certain blood vessels, and the muscles that power our lungs.

Smoking also exacerbates (worsens) other lung disorders, such as asthma, a condition in which the lungs swell and the airways narrow, making the flow of air in and out of the body difficult. Cigarette smoke, for example, contains 7,000 different chemicals, some of them toxic, which bombard our lungs and bloodstream with every puff. When one smokes:
  • Lung mucus production increases and thickens: The body naturally produces mucus as a lubricant and protective barrier. Excess mucus can be hard to expel, clogging the airways. It can be a breeding ground for bacteria and other germs, too.
  • Cilia get damaged: Smoking reduces the number and efficiency of our cilia that means more dirt, dust, and other particles can enter and stay in the lungs. Mucus is harder to clear, as well.
  • Alveoli get destroyed: The chemicals in cigarette smoke attack the air sacs that allow oxygen to get out to the blood and carbon monoxide to leave it. Alveoli do not regenerate, so once enough damage is done, breathing becomes—and can stay—difficult.
  • Bronchial tubes get irritated and inflamed: This can lead to a long-term cough and make respiratory infections more common.

Symptoms of lung disease can vary by person and by the type of disease they have. But some general signs of lung disease include:

Difficulty in breathing
Shortness of breath
Getting out of breath with activity
Persistent coughing
Coughing up blood or mucus
Pain while breathing in or out

While smoking can harm nearly every organ in our body, it delivers a direct and toxic hit to our lungs. Smoking dramatically increases the risk of a variety of lung diseases, including lung cancer and COPD. So, for those who smoke, the best way to stop further lung damage—and to even reverse some of the harm smoking has caused to the lungs and other parts of the body—is to quit now.

Need more advice or treatment? Many health care experts at antarnaad are always here to help you out. Antarnaad is a growing network of experienced physiotherapists, dietitians and nutritionists, fitness trainers and Yoga experts providing treatment for all the conditions. For more information visit our website or call our Consultant: Mb: 9899700187