Smoking is known causes not only lung cancer, but it also causes many other lung diseases. In this article we will review the impact of cigarettes to lung function and then will focus in more detail on the common lung disease caused by smoking.
1. Effect of tobacco to lung function
When we inhale, the air will enter the upper respiratory tract via the nose and mouth, where the air is filtered, heated and humidified. The air inhaled through the trachea to the lungs. In each lung has a bronchitis system, bronchial as the main branch of the tree with small twigs are the bronchi, after 17- 20 times divide into bronchioles, from these bronchioles will lead to small pockets store gas called alveoli, it is like clusters of grapes. In alveolar gas exchange process will occur. Blood will convert CO2 to O2 after that bring O2 to the parts of the body.
The respiratory system has several defenses to fight the disease. The filtration in the upper respiratory tract helps prevent bacteria, viruses and other irritants from the outside into the lungs. Windpipe and lungs produce mucus helps to grab and carry the dirt out. The mixture of mucus and contaminants will be brought out by the tiny hairs called cilia, the hairs move rapidly upwards, in some areas the speed of cilia are very high up to 1,000 times per minute.
When smoke enters through the mouth, the smoke was accidentally omitted the first protection mechanism that is the filtering process in the nose. People who smoke often excrete more mucus than those who do not smoke, but the ability to make phlegm out of the airways is less. This is because the cilia system in smokers paralyzed or even destroyed. Cigarette smoke also changes the structure of the mucous glands and therefore the composition of mucus is also altered. Sometimes the mucous glands is clogged and reduces ability excrete mucus. The result is mucus in the smoke contaminated by hazardous substances, and trapped many inside the lung and impedes gas exchage.
The structural changes in the lungs of smokers reduced ability of the lungs get oxygen. Secondhand smoke causes destruction of the alveoli reduces the elasticity of the lungs and reduces oxygen exchange capacity. The lung of smokers is reduced surface area and the capillary, which means that blood flow through the lung is reduced. It leads to reduce supply of nutrients and necessary oxygen for lung tissue and other parts within the body to maintain a healthy and normal function of them.
Smoking also causes a phenomenon called increased airway responsiveness. Due to the effects of toxic substances in the smoke, airway is being spasm. When this occurs, the air inhaled and exhaled are hampered in smokers, and thus formed the hissing sound, snoring and may have breathing trouble.
In people who smoke have many parameters ventilatory function changes, including Forced Expired Volume in one second (FEV1) decreased a lot.
Cigarette smoke reduces lung development and lung inflammation in infants and adolescents present by the speed of FEV1 is slow down. At ages 20-30 when smoking the lung damage is different. At this stage of life, the type of lung grows as plateau. Smokers in this development phase are shortened and make the disease caused by smoking appear soon. At the age of 30 if smoking the speed of FEV1 will increase double (about 40 ml / year) compared with non-smokers (about 20 ml / year). Those who smoke at younger age, the duration of smoking to cause diseases related to respiratory is shorter than those who start smoking at a later age.
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2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the term for lung injuries related to airway obstruction. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease characterized by airway obstructive disorders not fully recovered. According to WHO, in the world in 2001 has about 600 million people with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The disease progresses over many years and eventually leading to chronic and fatal. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is ranked in the 4th position in the cause of death in worldwide. The relationship between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and smoking is as strong as with lung cancer. Tobacco is the most important reason causing Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with 15% of those smokers will have clinical symptoms of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 80% -90% of people with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are smokers.
Smoking makes the other risk factors of this disease become stronger. Particularly those who smoke are adversely affected by environmental pollution, infections and exposure to toxic substances than non-smokers. Smokers have death rates due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 10 times higher than non-smokers.
Asthma is characterized by excessive reaction of the airways. The overreaction leads to asthma, wheezing, cough and / or difficulty breathing.
Smoking not cause asthma, but it makes the situation more severe. People with asthma smoke will increase sputum, reduce movement of cilia, bronchitis, increase susceptibility to infection, increase release of allergy effect quickly and destroy the small air. Mortality in people with asthma is or were former smokers increased over 2 times higher than those who do not smoke.
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4. Respiratory Infections
People who smoke are easy get respiratory infections than those who do not smoke and are often heavier. Children whose parents smoke will get respiratory illnesses easier than children whose parents do not smoke.
Smokers are not only get pneumonia but also more deaths. The pregnant woman with pneumonia that smoking more than 10 cigarettes / day, with poor prognosis than those who do not smoke (die both mom and baby …).
Smokers also get flu. Flu Vaccin has less effective for smokers, and mortality by flu in people who smoke is much higher compared to non-smokers. ( How To Quit Smoking BLOG)