A cigarette is not just something you give in to when you and your friends are enjoying a night out – it leaves your body with far more damage than you could ever have imagined. Here are a few ways that smoking damages your body and why you should stay away from it.
Even as you take in the first mouthful of smoke, it’s started doing its job of wreaking havoc on your body. The presence of tobacco is the reason why your pristine white teeth get stained and dirty brown. Next, your immune system is the one to bear the brunt. Toxic gases such as formaldehyde and ammonia that are present in the smoke can cause inflammation of the entire body.
And this is not all. As the smoke goes into your windpipe, it causes severe damage over there as well. Wondering how? As you may be aware, your cilia are tiny particles in the windpipe that are responsible for cleaning your respiratory system of irritants like mucous and other invading particles. But as smoke gets into your windpipe, it majorly slows down the cilia and thereby the resulting cleaning work it does. Besides, nicotine that’s airborne passes instantly into your bloodstream through the millions of capillaries in your lungs.
What’s more, your body will be cleaning up for six to eight hours after every cigarette you take in. But the nicotine is not done yet. The final assault will be the horrible brown tar it will leave behind on your lungs – the beginning of what we all know as lung cancer.
Let’s Jump To Step 3
Once the smoke has caused reasonable havoc in your mouth, immune system and windpipe, it goes further south. The nicotine reaches your adrenal glands and gives it a kick, which results in high adrenaline levels. These in turn raise your blood pressure and heart rate leading to your heart not able to relax fully in between beats. This considerably increases your risk of having a stroke. While your heart is suffering from all these effects, the nicotine is also busy raising carbon monoxide levels in your blood, so the body is unable to transfer oxygen to its vital organs at the same speed.
As the nicotine reaches your brain, certain nerve cells respond by letting loose a torrent of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. This is what gives your body a high. As the dopamine levels rapidly go back to normal, you experience a sharp craving for more nicotine. This happens though you may sometimes not even be aware of it. Once you habitually start giving in to cravings, your body and brain will get used to this nicotine and you’ll start getting severe withdrawal symptoms if they are not treated to a cigarette.