By: KIMBERLY RUDD
Edited by: CHRISTINA COLAVECCHIA
Educators can’t stress enough about how smoking can damage your health. A little wake up call is what you need to understand what smoking a cigarette does to your body. There are many long-term effects that come with smoking but what many don’t realize is the immediate effects of it. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), men are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer if they smoke and women are 13 times more likely. Smoking a cigarette releases approximately 4,000 chemicals into your body with only 10 puffs. Womenshealthmag.com gives an overview of the immediate effects smoking can have on your body:
- Just 0-10 seconds of smoking can leave a faint but brown film on your teeth. Toxic gases like formaldehyde and ammonia are instantly put into your body, putting your immune system on high alert. This can cause all over inflammation.
- Once the smoke from a cigarette is in your windpipe, the smoke slows down your cilia (tiny hair-like structures that clear your respiratory system of mucus and particles).
- The nicotine in cigarettes gives your body a jolt of energy as it hits the adrenal gland. This triggers adrenaline that raises your blood pressure and heart rate. Since your body is unable to relax fully, you’re more at risk for having a stroke.
- Meanwhile, carbon monoxide from a cigarette starts to build up in your blood limiting your body’s ability to transport oxygen to your vital organs. Through the blood stream nicotine hits your brain, where nerve cells respond to the nicotine by releasing a neurotransmitter called dopamine, making you feel good.
- After five minutes of smoking, dopamine levels go back to normal and your body yearns for another high. If you give into the craving your brains then gets hooked and goes into withdrawal when you try to stop smoking. Some say that nicotine could be as addictive as heroin. The cigarette smoke may be gone but your body is still cleaning up all the toxins for the next six to eight hours!
- Smoke from a cigarette leaves a gooey brown tar in your lungs that will never go away.
It doesn’t take years for a health problem caused by smoking to happen — it can happen within the first few seconds of taking a puff. Every cigarette you smoke damages your body. If you do not smoke the likelihood of you living longer is greater. So, the next time your’e out and you figure one cigarette won’t hurt, think again.