Smoking effect on your body
Inhaling tobacco smoke causes damage to many of the body’s organs and systems.
Effects of smoking on the respiratory system
The effects of tobacco smoke on the respiratory system include:
- irritation of the trachea (windpipe) and larynx (voice box)
- reduced lung function and breathlessness due to swelling and narrowing of the lung airways and excess mucus in the lung passages
- impairment of the lungs’ clearance system, leading to the build-up of poisonous substances, which results in lung irritation and damage
- increased risk of lung infection and symptoms such as coughing and wheezing
- permanent damage to the air sacs of the lungs.
Effects of smoking on the circulatory system
- The effects of tobacco smoke on the circulatory system include:
- raised blood pressure and heart rate
- constriction (tightening) of blood vessels in the skin, resulting in a drop in skin temperature
- less oxygen carried by the blood during exercise
- ‘stickier’ blood, which is more prone to clotting
- damage to the lining of the arteries, which is thought to be a contributing factor to atherosclerosis (the build-up of fatty deposits on the artery walls)
- reduced blood flow to extremities (fingers and toes)
- increased risk of stroke and heart attack due to blockages of the blood supply.
Effects of smoking on the immune system
The effects of tobacco smoke on the immune system include:
- greater susceptibility to infections such as pneumonia and influenza
- more severe and longer-lasting illnesses
- lower levels of protective antioxidants (such as vitamin C), in the blood.