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Carbon monoxide & tar
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Carbon monoxide & tar


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  • 1.  Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is highlytoxic in nature. While cars emit carbon monoxide, so do cigarettes andother smoke-able tobacco products as the tobacco itself isburned. The gas is formed when plant materials burn. It cancombine with haemoglobin in blood, reducing the blood’scapacity to carry oxygen. Carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke is thought to beassociated with the increased risk of heart disease fromsmoking.
  • 2.  The most harmful of the gases in cigarette smoke is carbonmonoxide which is the same gas as that in car exhaust. Carbon monoxide (CO) replaces oxygen in theblood, making it difficult for the bodys cells to get all theoxygen they need. CO also promotes cholesterol deposits in thearteries, contributing to cardiovascular disease. Elevated CO blood levels impair vision andjudgment, making smoking potentially dangerous to drivers.
  • 3.  Over time, as more and more carbon monoxide binds tohemoglobin, a smokers arteries harden, which cancause the following health complications: blood clots gangrene, which can lead to the need for amputation heart attack heart disease pulmonary embolism, a condition in which a blood clottrapped in the lungs blocks the flow of oxygen to the body stroke vascular (vein-related) disease.
  • 4.  Tar is a sticky substance found in tobacco leaves whensmocked it coats the lungs and alveoli. This prevents oxygenfrom reaching the blood. These gummy particles consist of a large number of toxicchemicals created by burning tobacco. Although cigarette filters are intended to trap tar and sparesmokers from excess tar exposure but toxins still make itthrough and can leave a brown-yellow film behind Tar impacts human health in a number of ways, includingincreasing the risk of bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer.
  • 5.  The tar in cigarettes can stain smokers teeth and turn themyellow or brown. Cigarette tar can stain anything it touches brown, including asmokers hands and clothing. The tar in tobacco cigarettes is a major cause of lung cancer,emphysema and bronchitis. The toxins from the tar candamage lung cells that keep tumors from forming. Cigarette tar also damages cilia in the lungs, which protectthe lining of the lungs.
  • 6.  Inflammation of the lining of the airways connecting thetrachea to the lungs, called the bronchial tubes, occurs whenthe tissues become irritated. It becomes harder than normal to breathe, resulting in aconsistent, hacking cough. Chronic bronchitis causes bronchial tubes to be red andswollen on a continuous basis and produce excessive mucusover time. Decreased immune system reactions may make killing offbacterial infections difficult.
  • 7.  Emphysema develops when the air sacs at the base of tiny airpassages called bronchioles gradually break down smoking. The irritating chemicals in cigarette smoke, including tar, arethe leading cause of emphysema. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chesttightness, chronic coughing, fatigue and decreased physicalactivity ability. Emphysema eventually prevents oxygen entering the lungsfrom reaching the blood stream.
  • 8.  An increased risk of lung cancer correlates to the estimatedtotal milligrams of tar from cigarette smoke to which aperson is exposed. Lung cancer ranks as the leading cause of cancer deathsfor Americans. Preventing or stopping the use of tobacco, includingexposure to tar, could nearly eliminate lung cancer. If caught in an early stage, the five year relative survival ratefor lung cancer is 31 percent.
  • 9.  Smoking affects the respiratory system because it stops thesmall little hairs called Cilia in your throat. They are used topush dirt and mucus out of your throat. The tar also sticks to the lining of your throat and lungs (thismakes fingers yellow). It contains a lot of carbon monoxide which sticks to thehemoglobin in the blood instead of oxygen. Mucus which would also be removed through cilia goes in toblood stream and is deposited in arteries.