Nicotine from tobacco smoke reaches the brain and muscle tissue soon after being inhaled. When nicotine is present a number of changes occur:
• The heart rate increases. This can be measured as an increase in pulse rate.
• Nicotine also causes an increase in blood pressure and a slowing in circulation in the smaller blood vessels.This slowing in circulation, together with constriction of blood vessels, has the effect of lowering the skin temperature.
• Nicotine can act both as a relaxant, relaxing skeletal muscles, and as a stimulant, increasing tension in other muscles. This can be illustrated by measuring hand tremors before and after a cigarette. Nicotine also increases stomach secretions and changes brain activity.
1.Carbon monoxide levels in the lungs increase. This gas is quickly absorbed into the blood, reducing its capacity to carry oxygen. The changes brought about by carbon monoxide mean that more effort must be made to achieve the same physical results as a non-smoker. In particular, the heart must work harder for the same effect, especially when doing rigorous exercise. How many of us said, "Yes, I smoke but I also work out!" We actually increased our risk of heart damage!
2. A recent study found that smoking just one cigarette causes arteries to stiffen by 25 percent. The stiffer the artery, the harder the heart has to work--which means there's a greater risk of heart attack or stroke, even in 18 to 25 year olds! "Tobacco smoke damages almost every organ in your body," says Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. In someone with underlying heart disease, she says, "One cigarette can cause a heart attack."
3. Tobacco smoke also increases resistance in the airways leading to the lungs and reduces lung capacity. The little finger-like cilia which keep airways clear of phlegm are 'stunned' by chemicals in the smoke and tiny muscles in our airways contract, constricting them.
4. There are also measurable changes in the immune system.
5. One single cigarette will change your DNA. When DNA is damaged, the "instruction manual" gets messed up, and the cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancer tumor.
6. Ever hear of Buerger's disease? http://smokinggotme.com/buergers.html
A recent review of several studies found that light smoking was connected to a host of other illnesses: cataracts, reduced fertility, an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy (where the pregnancy develops outside the uterus) and weak bones.
The Surgeon General states that exposure to any cigarette smoking either first, second or even third hand is too much!
The average smoker would smoke 365,250 cigarettes, but even your first sickerette might be your killerette!