Did you know that smoking affects every organ in the body, as well as our bones and our appearance? This is because the chemicals in cigarettes are inhaled into the lungs and airways, and then are carried through the circulatory system to all parts of the body.
Amanda Eller, a nurse from North Carolina, shared a video online of what a smokers’ and non-smokers’ lungs look like after 20 years. It’s easy to see who smoked and who didn’t based on the color of the lungs, and as she blows air into both sets of lungs, it becomes even more apparent.
Here are some of the ways that smoking affects the body:
Smoking Damages The Throat
Smoking damages the throat by creating a thickening of the lining of the throat. This thickening is actually a buildup of uncontrolled additional cells which can form malignant tumors. The smoke also impacts the sinuses and taste buds, and smokers may notice a decrease in their senses of smell and taste due to the damage from smoke.
Smoking Makes It Difficult To Fight Off Illness
Once cigarette smoke reaches the lungs, it impacts the body’s ability to fight off bacteria, viruses, and certain respiratory illnesses. The airways develop a thick lining of mucus which can cause chronic coughing and breathing problems. The airways become more constricted, making the lungs need to work harder to take in the minimum amount of oxygen the body needs. Statistics have shown that 87% of people who die from lung cancer are smokers.
Smoking Make The Heart Beat More
The effects of smoking on the heart are alarming. The heart is the hardest-working muscle in the body, and a smoker’s heart has to beat 36,000 more times a day than that of a non-smoker! This is because cigarette smoke causes plaque builds up in the arteries, which narrows them and inhibits the body from properly circulating blood. That puts a smoker at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Smoking Affects The Bones
Smoking also affects the bones. Researchers have found a correlation between bone density loss and smoking. Ongoing smoking can lead to fractures or even osteoporosis due to loss of bone mass.
Smoking Affects One’s Physical Appearance
A life-long smoker’s appearance can also be negatively affected due to smoking. Skin becomes more wrinkled due to less oxygen reaching the cells of the skin. The chemicals and tar in cigarettes also stain teeth and nails, and can cause faster tooth decay as well as thinning hair.
The video shared by nurse Amanda Eller can be considered graphic medical content as it shows two pairs of real human lungs being inflated artificially to demonstrate the effects of smoking and non-smoking on the body’s lungs. Please view at your own discretion and if you are sensitive to medical content, please refrain. The video is available on YouTube here.
In summary, smoking is quite toxic to the entire body, but the good news is that the body begins to repair itself almost immediately after one quits smoking. Health benefits begin within just two weeks of quitting smoking.
Has anything helped you stay away from cigarettes?
Let us know in the comments.
You are dearly loved.