I'm sure you know all about the effects of smoking.
"You'll get cancer right."
It's Possible; Men who smoke are ten times more likely to develop cancer.
But thats only part of the danger.
Let's have a look at what happens when you smoke. To help I've found some interesting video clips, which I hope will go some way to illustrate the effects of smoking...
When you put a cigarette to your lips and suck, you take in to your mouth a compound of chemicals which contain 19 known carcinogens, (cancer causing stuff) that bind to your DNA.
This short video will help to illustrate how smoke destroys the small hairs that line your airways and act as filters.
It also leaves behind a tar-like residue, which coats the surface of the lungs, clogging the tiny sacs in which the gas exchange takes place. (Which is of course, the actual purpose of your lungs)
Over the course of a year a twenty a day smoker, will take in over 200g or a cup of tar.
This tar is a serious contributory cause of emphysema. Which is a condition where the tiny air sacks in the lungs, become blocked, and lose their ability to expand and contract, preventing the exchange of gasses.
It is also one of the main causes of lung cancer.
Here's a Video on how lung cancer forms
28% of deaths caused by smoking, are due to Lung Cancer.
But the real killers are:
Carbon Monoxide and Nicotine
Carbon Monoxide is a very poisonous substance, which stops the blood from taking up Oxygen.
Its what kills you if you put a hose up a car exhuast.
It has the effect of actually 'killing' blood cells, which then flow round your body as debris. It also has an abrasive effect on your arteries, similar to cholesterol. causing the same hard coating to form
The other 'baddie' Nicotine; is one of THE most poisonous substances on earth. It is found naturally in the tobacco plant, which is thought to use it as a defence mechanism.
In smokers, it works as a stimulant. It acts on your brain, making your heart beat faster, and also as a vaso-constrictor. (It narrows the blood vessels)
This has the effect of raising your blood pressure, because your heart has to work harder to pump blood through the narrowed vessels.
It also stimulates the forming of more Cholesterol, making the blood thicker.
So now your poor old heart has now got to push thicker blood, through narrower pipes.
Not only that, but its had its own supply of oxygen reduced by the Carbon Monoxide too.
Can you see the trouble coming?
43% of smoking related deaths are caused by Cardio-Vascular Disease.
Have a look at this video showing the artery of a 32 year old man
Think about what the effects of smoking are in the smallest blood vessels, these are sooo small and narrow naturally. So imagine what will happen if one or more of them become blocked.
The tissue on the wrong side of the blockage will die.
This tends to happen in the extremeties, like your feet and toes, its called Beurgers Disease. Basically your toes die and you get Gangrene. The only chance you have then is amputation.
Thats bad, but imagine if the blockage happens in your heart, or your brain?
You'll have a heart attack or a stroke.
"Perhaps this is the time to tell you the story of my very good friend Ollie Buckley.
He was a 20+ a day smoker.
One morning he was making a hot drink, when he spilled hot water on to his bare foot. The resulting burn never healed, and six momths later, they cut off his left leg.
Apparently he had been suffering from Beurgers Disease without knowing. Sure, he'd had 'cold feet', and the occasional numbness, but he took no notice.
Ollie was 50 when this happened. The Doctors warned him about the future effects of smoking, but he carried right on.
He died four years later from Coronary Heart Disease, caused by Smoking."
Which brings me to another of Nicotines endearing qualities. It's highly addictive.
When it reaches your brain, (approximately seven seconds after you pull on your cigarette) it triggers the release of chemical compounds called endorphines, which are 'pleasure receptors' so you smoke another cigarette. This 'high' doesn't last long, and you want more, (it's much the same way with heroin) So you become 'addicted' to nicotine.
While we're on the subject of Nicotine. Have a look at this...
And guess what,(surprise surprise)the nicotine content of cigarettes has increased;
"one study found that there was an average increase in nicotine content of 1.6% per year between the years of 1998 and 2005.
This was found for all major market categories of cigarettes"Effects of smoking
So, now you know a bit more about the effects of smoking. I hope we can work together to help you quit.
Have a look at some of the pages below to find out more on smoking and how to quit