What Happens When You Smoke A Cigarette?

The effects of smoking are almost instantaneous; the moment you inhale, changes take place in your body. Within seconds of lighting up a cigarette, smoke will billow around your face and enter your body through the mouth, nose and eyes, resulting in effects including watery and itchy eyes, an itchy nose, sneezing, coughing and a sore throat. The insides of the nostrils are lined with tiny hairs called cilia, which are responsible for removing obstructions and clearing the nose; these tiny hairs are also found on the inside of the bronchial tubes in the lungs and they work very hard to prevent toxins reaching the lungs. Smoking inhibits and eventually damages the cilia, preventing them from doing their job and contributing to a collection of harmful substances within the body; initially, you may notice a sore throat or increased susceptibility to coughs and colds, but the effects can quickly become more severe, especially if you are a heavy smoker. 

The body is not designed to ingest the chemicals found in cigarettes and it is unable to process them in the way it does when you eat or drink, for example. This means that eventually, these harmful substances will affect the body in a negative way and this is why you are a greater risk of developing deadly diseases if you smoke. 

Smoking is known for harming the lungs, but it actually presents dangers for the whole body because smoke travels around the body via the bloodstream. 

As well as increasing the risk of cancer and damage to the heart and major blood vessels, smoking is also addictive and within seconds of inhaling smoke, a nicotine hit reaches the brain. Nicotine is the substance, which makes smoking addictive; it prompts the release of dopamine, which lifts your mood. When you smoke, this means that you often feel better; however, in the long-term, smoking can actually make you feel worse, as your body becomes accustomed to smoking and this affects the levels of dopamine produced in the brain. Decreased levels of dopamine have been linked to low mood, which may contribute to a heightened risk of depression. As your body gets used to the nicotine hit, this also makes giving up harder, as you will experience withdrawal symptoms. 

Smoking also temporarily raises your blood pressure; this is the force at which blood travels through the blood vessels. In the long-term, smoking is a risk factor for high blood pressure, a major contributor to heart disease and strokes. 

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