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Smoking: what it does to the body

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When you smoke, you're exposing the body to tens of thousands of different chemicals. Now we know that many of those are harmful, and some of them we just don't know about. Funnily enough, nicotine, which is the one which addicts you to smoking, is not all that harmful in terms of health, but it's what actually gets you smoking, keeps you smoking, and thereby you're exposed to all the other substances as well. When you smoke a cigarette, one of the first things that happens is that some of the gases produced by the burning cigarette buy into red-blood cells, and they make the blood less efficient at carrying oxygen around the body. What then happens, though, is that over the following weeks, months, and years, much more serious and long-lasting harm is done. Now, everybody thinks about lung cancer when they first think of smoking, but smoking increases the risk of all sorts of cancers, the fruit you'd expect, pretty obviously. The esophagus, but also the cervix as well. Because you're smoking and the air is going into the lungs, then, quite obviously, we're going to expect to see lung damage, which is nothing to do with cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or what we used to call "chronic bronchitis" and "emphysema". But one of the most harmful effects of smoking is on blood vessels, and if those blood vessels are supplying your heart, for instance, you can get coronary artery disease, and that would be heart attacks and angina. It increases the risk of strokes, damage to the brain, and of course it increases the risk of peripheral vascular disease, as poor circulation going down to the fingers and down to the toes. So smoking has a huge number of ill effects, and one of the odd things is that every year that goes by we're discovering more harmful things that, unfortunately, smoking does. A consequence is, we've got about 100,000 people dying early every year, because of smoking-related diseases, and it's a pretty sobering statistic, that, if you have a couple who are both smokers, then the chances of them both getting to retirement age are less than 50-50.

Video Details

Duration: 1 minute and 59 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 496
Posted by: natalialzam on Dec 6, 2014

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