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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.