As we all know, smoking is one of the most harmful (and disgusting) habits a person can have. Around 40 million Americans smoke being fully aware of the harm cigarettes are doing to their lungs. Saying that they damage the lungs is an understatement – smoking’s negative effects go far above and beyond what we all know.
The National Health Service has listed smoking as deadly to our respiratory health. Smoking can lead to a variety of severe respiratory diseases including lung cancer and emphysema. It destroys lung tissue and narrows down our airways, making it impossible to breathe. It goes without saying that smoking significantly raises the risk of lung and throat cancer.
With every cigarette you smoke, inflammation builds up in the lungs resulting in the slow, but steady destruction of your alveoli. These tiny sacs in the lungs are crucial for oxygen exchange and they can never regenerate once gone. At the same time, smoking obliterates our immune systems, making smokers more susceptible to colds and infections. The smoke from cigarettes destroys the cilia as well, the tiny hairs in our lungs which clean mucus and dirt. Without your alveoli and cilia, the risk of severe respiratory diseases goes up tenfold.
Of course, you can still smoke and not develop lung cancer. However, what science has confirmed is that smokers live shorter than non-smokers. The harmful habit raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases and may shorten your lifespan by around 20 years.
Recently, a nurse from North Carolina shared a video on her Facebook page showing the difference between the lungs of a non-smoker and a smoker for 20 years. The video shows what smoking does to your lungs and it’s pretty graphic – you’ve been warned! If you can stomach it, you may finally stop smoking, though. If you want to keep your health in check, you should quit as soon as possible.
The cigarette smoke you inhale contains over 5,000 different chemicals, and they can all destroy your lungs. Apart from drugs, smoking is the absolute worst habit, so do yourself a favor and ditch the cigarettes for good.