Smoking And How It Affects Your Lungs

Smoking affects our body negatively; hinders breathing, causes dehydration, bad breath and increases the risk of lung cancer. If you’re an athlete, you also have another reason not to smoke.
Smoking And How It Affects Your Lungs

Last update: 04 September, 2018

Smoking is generally one of the most harmful habits for your health. Without a doubt, the lungs are one of the most affected organs when people smoke. There are many studies that confirm the negative impact  that smoking can have  on people’s long and short term health.

Therefore, it’s important and advisable to know exactly what the effects of smoking are, especially on your lungs. This way, people can start the appropriate treatment, and we can all encourage others to stop to this harmful habit.

The most affected organs

Smoking has consequences that can be very serious for your lungs. But lungs aren’t the only organs that can be affected, these can include: the bladder, kidneys, pancreas, esophagus, larynx and pharynx, among others. These organs are prone to disease, as a result of this harmful habit.

Cancer is definitely one of the most serious illnesses that you can develop as a result of smoking. This doesn’t mean that all smokers will develop this condition, but they’re more likely to suffer from it, compared to people who don’t smoke.

Young women smoking.

The truth is that almost from the start, smoking leads to health problems. This can include the ”smoker’s cough” and even premature lung aging. Of course, smoking leads to a greater risk of developing serious illnesses such as tumors. Smoking is, without any doubt, one of the most harmful habits for your health.

Smoking and the consequences for your lungs

1. Premature aging

One of the consequences of smoking is premature lung aging. As a matter of fact, smoker’s lungs age far quicker, than the lungs of people who don’t smoke.

Inhaled smoke causes serious damage to the internal tissues of the lungs, since it reduces the size of the blood vessels. In addition, smoking can change our physical appearance, even changing the way we regulate our weight.

2. Chronic cough

Chronic cough is another well-known side effect of smoking. This type of cough is common during the mornings and it’s usually accompanied by sputum (or phlegm).  It occurs as a result of increased secretions in the bronchi and trachea. In turn, these secretions are associated with a higher risk of infections.

3. Lung irritation

The ingredients in cigarettes and tobacco are extremely irritating. Therefore, it’s not surprising that smoker’s lungs are irritated. As a result of this irritation, less air flows into the lungs, and much the same as alcohol, it facilitates dehydration.

4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a condition that a high percentage of smokers will develop. It’s an illness without an cure, meaning it’s irreversible; it causes the airways to gradually become obstructed.

5. Cell damage

Cigarettes are made with various chemicals that are very harmful to our health. These components produce serious cellular damage, which can trigger illnesses, such as cancer. In these cases, healthy cells may end up becoming malignant cells, because of the effects of cigarettes.

6. Destruction of the alveoli

Alveoli are the tiny air sacs located inside our lungs. Each time a person smokes, they destroy one of these alveolus, and it’s worth mentioning that they never grow back. These sacs are responsible for oxygenating our blood.

7. Lung cancer

Lungs filled with cigarettes.

Lung cancer is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known and feared consequences for smokers. The chances of developing this illness are considerably higher for smokers, than for those who don’t smoke.

Statistics indicate that 87 percent of lung tumors in the United States are closely related to smoking.

The consequences that smoking has on your lungs are varied. Younger people are, on many occasions, the most likely and therefore, the most vulnerable age group to begin smoking. Thus, it’s important to understand the side effects, in order to make people aware of the harmful effects that smoking has on our health.

Want to quit smoking? There are many types of alternative products and methods available that will help. However, the first, and most important thing needed, is the willpower and determination to stop.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.