This is how tobacco affects the functioning of the respiratory system

Tobacco is one of the most harmful factors for health in general, although it especially causes significant damage to the respiratory system and the lungs. Thus, tobacco consumption causes different respiratory diseases.

Specifically, within the damage it causes to the respiratory system, tobacco acts through different mechanisms producing inflammation and damage to the lungs, which are the organs that act as a motor of the respiratory system.

The experts at 'Quirónsalud' assure that at least 89 substances in tobacco smoke with the capacity to cause toxicity in the lungs. Therefore, the so-called 'passive smokers' also have a considerable risk of developing diseases related to the functioning of the respiratory system.

Thus, among the toxic substances found in tobacco smoke, acrolein, nitrogen oxide, cadmium, cyanide and formaldehyde stand out.

A risk factor for the respiratory system

In this sense, the total toxic dose of each cigarette received by the lung varies depending on the type of tobacco, number of puffs and the characteristics of the lung in question. But in any case, it is always detrimental to the respiratory system.

Sistema respiratorioRespiratory system

Furthermore, from 'Quirónsalud' they explain that passive smoking has been related to alterations in lung development, COPD, asthma and other diseases that affect the respiratory system.

In this line, different research works have found links between maternal smoking during pregnancy and a higher risk of lung diseases in the life of the child.

What is COPD?

COPD is also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is the disease that affects the respiratory system that is most closely related to smoking.

Specifically, EPCO is characterized by causing an obstruction of the airflow in the lungs. Thus, the usual symptoms of this type of disease are shortness of breath, production of mucus (sputum) and wheezing.

COPD is usually caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases and tobacco cigarette smoke. That is why it is the disease of the respiratory system that is most linked to the action of smoking.

In addition, people who have COPD also have a higher risk of developing other serious diseases, such as lung cancer or heart disease.

For more information, the professionals at 'Quirónsalud' in Spain report that the 50% of smokers develop COPD throughout their lives, with the great health risks that this entails.

Specifically, this group of experts explains that “the risk is proportional to the cumulative consumption of tobacco (amount of tobacco smoked throughout life), in such a way that the risk exceeds 26% in smokers of about one pack/day during 15 years, at 50% in smokers of more than one pack/day for 30 years ».

For all these reasons, it is essential to eliminate tobacco from our lives and stop smoking, since it increases the risk of developing diseases of the respiratory system. But in addition, tobacco is also a risk factor for increased cholesterol levels, chronic gastritis, arterial hypertension, coronary disease or different types of cancer.

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