• Conner Emery

The Health Consequences of Smoking: Physically and Statistically

Smoking, noted for its addictive potential and bodily damage, isn't generally attributed a positive image. It stands as the greatest cause of preventable death in the United States, so there is an understandably negative impression, especially when nonsmokers are at risk too. Lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease are excerpts of the potential consequences of severe secondhand smoke.

What exactly leads to these health problems for both smokers and nonsmokers? How extensive can the damage be?

As commercial products, cigarettes vary in their ingredients, but you can expect roughly six hundred. When cigarettes are lit for use, they produce smoke. chemicals are created in over ten times the amount of ingredients. Some of the most notable and familiar are nicotine, lead, formaldehyde, and arsenic.

Alveoli, the small air sacs of your lungs, are the airways most damaged by the inhalation of harmful chemicals like these. However, lung function declines overall, resulting in harsher attacks for those with asthma and the onset of lung diseases like chronic bronchitis. Perhaps most significantly, consistent smoking and chemical exposure disrupts the DNA of lung cells.

Gradually, their repair is insufficient or ineffective, risking smokers for lung cancer fifteen to thirty times more than nonsmokers.

Cigarette chemicals and smoke also have profound effects on the cardiovascular system. These generally encompass an impact on blood vessels that expands to the activity of the heart and other circulatory factors. Blood vessels can thicken in response to smoke, and smoking may stimulate increased blood clotting. These changes combined demand accommodation by the heart, and it compensates with an increased heart rate. However, this develops into high blood pressure as it encounters narrow vessels, and potential blockages risk smokers for strokes and cardiac conditions like coronary artery disease.

As for the brain, cigarettes and infamous nicotine typically generate behavioral consequences. Nicotine can interact with various neuronal pathways, initiating and interfering with individual behavioral responses. This variety and effectiveness allows it to alter the neurological processes of reward and pleasure in a manner likely to inspire dependence or addiction. Nicotine withdrawal is likely to encourage smoking in response to stress, and nicotine deprivation in smokers decreases their cognitive ability and concentration.

Cigarette chemicals and tobacco have a negative effect throughout the body. They worsen immune function, can lower bone health, and cause multiple cancers. Bodily systems are simply not intended to cooperate with such substances.


Cattamanchi, Adithya. “The Connection Between Smoking and Lung Cancer.” Healthline,

29 Mar. 2021,


Heishman, SJ. “Behavioral and cognitive effects of smoking: relationship to nicotine

addiction.” Review, National Library of Medicine, 1999,


Hung, Joseph, et al. “Cigarette Smoking Acutely Increases Platelet Thrombus Formation

in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease Taking Aspirin.” American Heart

Association, vol. 92, no. 9, 1 Nov. 1995, https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.cir.92.9.2432#:~:text=Smoking%20also



Pomerleau, O.F., et al. “Neuroregulatory effects of nicotine.” Psychoneuroendocrinology,

National Library of Medicine, 1989, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2560221/

Rosecrans, J.A., et al. “Neurobehavioral mechanisms of nicotine action: role in the

initiation and maintenance of tobacco dependence.” Review, National Library of

Medicine, Mar-Apr. 1993, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8510190/

“Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13

Jul. 2020,


“What Are the Risk Factors for Lung Cancer?” Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention, 22 Sep. 2020,


18 views0 comments