How Smoking Can Affect Your Breathing

Burning tobacco produces dangerous chemicals that can alter your lungs, damage your airways, and negatively affect your breathing.

Each organ plays a principal role in keeping your body healthy, and powerful lungs are responsible for maintaining organ function. Smoking inhibits your lungs’ ability to deliver oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. 

Read on to learn more about how smoking creates a noticeable difference in your ability to breathe easily.

Airflow Limitations

Smoking can affect your breathing by decreasing the number of air spaces and blood vessels in the lungs. This makes it much more difficult to deliver oxygen to critical parts of your body. Even just one or two cigarettes cause irritation and inflammation in the lungs.

Increased Mucus

Smoking increases the amount of mucus in the airways and significantly thickens it up. This is because when you smoke, the cells that produce mucus grow in size and number. Your lungs can’t effectively clean out all of this excess mucus, causing coughing and infections.

Fewer Cilia

Toxicants in tobacco smoke paralyze the cilia that help clean out your lungs. These hair-like cells move mucus and debris up and out of the airways. After you begin smoking a cigarette, the cilia slow down in movement, putting you at a higher risk for respiratory infection.

The Risks Linked to Smoking

  • Death - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States; this is nearly one in five deaths. Additionally, it causes more deaths each year than following reasons combined:

o   Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

o   Illegal drug use

o   Alcohol use

o   Motor vehicle injuries

o   Firearm-related incidents

  • Stroke - Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to suffer a stroke. The CDC shares that smoking increases the risk of stroke by two to four times.

o   Cancers of the mouth and throat

o   Voicebox

o   Esophagus

o   Stomach

o   Lungs

o   Kidney

o   Pancreas

o   Liver

o   Bladder

o   Cervix

o   Colon

o   Rectum

  • Cardiovascular disease - Cardiovascular disease refers to maladies that affect the heart and blood vessels. Smoking is directly linked to coronary heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Smoking can make your blood vessels thicken and grow narrower, which can damage your heart and cause blood clots.
  • Respiratory disease - Smoking damages your airways and the air sacs found in your lungs. This can lead to various respiratory diseases, such as:

o   Chronic bronchitis

o   Emphysema

o   Lung cancer

o   Asthma

The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke combines tobacco smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and exhaled smoke from a smoker. This might not seem like a big deal initially, but it is a severe health hazard that causes more than 41,000 deaths per year.  

Choose O2 Assist for Oxygen Treatment

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about how smoking can affect your breathing. If they suggest at-home oxygen treatments for respiratory disease, O2 Assist is here to provide you with an oxygen concentrator to meet your needs. Shop online to learn more about your options and experience our excellent customer service. Additionally, please contact us with any questions you might have.

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