What effect does smoking tobacco have on the body?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At your age, smoking cigarettes can be more addictive than an adult.  So addiction is a number one concern. An addict will smoke more frequently and therefore endanger his body with more of the negative side effects. A smoker introduces numerous carcinogens into the body which can lead to cancer. Lung cancer is the number one type of cancer due to the close proximity of smoke in the lungs. But other cancers may develop too. All aspects of the respiratory system are affected at once. Linings in the sinus, and lung tissue are easily damaged as cilia, or hairlike projections that sweep away foreign objects are destroyed. Inside the lung, the small sacs called aveoli are damagedand this could affect the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. A disease called emphysema is common among smokers as many alveoli are damaged.  There are a higher incidences of colds, flu, and respiratory infections because immunity is weakened. Best not to start or quit immediately before permanent damage is done. Quitting smoking or never starting is the number one preventative habit to extend one's life or prevent early death!

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Tobacco smoke containes a number of harmful ingredients such as carbon monoxide, heavy metals, tars and nicotine. Each of these is toxic by itself when inhaled.

The immediate effect from tobacco smoke is the "buzz" associated with nicotine. When ingested, nicotine causes a rapid heart beat, rapid breathing and a feeling of light headdedness.  Nicotine is highly addictive, and after a few cigarettes or pouches, one starts "nicking" or feeling cranky and irritable if the nicotine craving is not satisfied.

There are carcinoginic chemicals in cigarette smoke that bind with protiens in DNA causing genetic mutations and birth defects.

In the body, carcinogens from tobacco smoke can bind to blood proteins and to DNA, and can thus produce gene mutations and chromosomal abnormalities. Smoking can also cause changes in the metabolism of cells or tissues, resulting in changes to the way foreign substances are broken down by the body. (http://www.greenfacts.org/en/tobacco/)

Diseases associated with tobacco use are myriad ranging from the most common heart disease and lung cancer to thyroid disease and bladder cancer.  Please check out the links below for more detailed information.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial