Ever wondered what smoking every day does to your lungs? Read what a nurse has to say
I think most people can agree that smoking is bad for our health. But this does not change the fact that 38 million Americans still continue to smoke according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking not only causes numerous health complications, but it can also cause extremely damaging effects onto your lungs.
The UK National Health Service has published a brief of some of the effects that smoking can do to you:
First of all, smoking cigarettes lowers your immune system, making you more susceptible to coughs and colds. It can lead to more severe and fatal diseases such as emphysema, pneumonia and lung cancer. Smoking causes 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Smoking narrows airways and destroys lung tissue, which makes it harder to breathe. People with COPD will find themselves short of breath much faster during activities and usually have a persistent cough with phlegm and frequent chest infections.
You can also get mouth and/or throat cancer. Smoking causes more than 93% of oropharyngeal cancers (cancer in part of the throat).
The most damaging of all is the inflammation that it causes to the lungs which make it harder for you to breathe as it leads to the restriction of your air passages. The air sacs in your lungs known as alveoli that help you exchange oxygen are destroyed by smoking, and unfortunately, they cannot grow back. This means that smoking has a permanent effect on your lungs which can’t be taken back or removed.
Not forgetting that smokers suffer the most from colds and infections which is due to it destroying the cilia which are the tiny hairs in our airways that clean out all the debris to make sure that our lungs stay healthy.
Even if smoking does not cause you lung cancer, you still have a higher risk of mortality than those that do not smoke. A study conducted in Norway has reported to reveal that people that smoked a small amount of cigarettes of one to four a day still had a higher risk of developing ischemic heart diseases according to BMJ Journals.
Sometimes reading something doesn’t really have as much as an impact on you until you see an image. We hope this next part gives you an idea of thwhat smoking does to your lungs.
Nurse Amanda Eller from North Caroline posted on Facebook a video which explained how the lungs of a nonsmoker and a smoker look lie after 30 years. The first video shows Amanda blowing air onto both lungs. The color of the smoker’s lungs are completely black and look in very bad condition whereas the nonsmoker’s lung were a healthy pink.
Peer pressure can also contribute to us smoking or even just habit despite us knowing the dangers of smoking. Let me remind you that every smoke means that you are inhaling over 5000 different chemicals into your lungs. If smoking is a habit for you then try and find something else that is healthy which will replace it. At the end of the day, your health is the most important thing and only you are capable of doing something to make it better.
Share this article so that it encourages nonsmokers to stop their damaging habit.