What happens when you smoke?

Despite all the warnings and preventive measures, smoking annually kills millions of people all over the Earth, and these numbers are constantly growing. Many people probably wondered why, first, non-smokers, and then smokers, aware of all the harm to nicotine and gradually feeling how it worsens their health, continue to stubbornly bring fire to the cigarette, inhaling pungent lilac smoke.

It is about the effects of active substances tobacco smoke is described in this article.

What happens when a person lights a cigarette

The main substance of tobacco that is addictive is nicotine. Immediately after smoking a cigarette, this drug (isn’t that what is addictive?) Through the lungs quickly penetrates the bloodstream and after 8 seconds begins to affect the brain. He first accelerates and then slows down the activity of the nervous system.

Most smokers did not like the first experience of exploring a cigarette, many as a result had only negative emotions, there are even cases of fainting and nausea.However, after the second or third cigarette, these unpleasant symptoms disappear, and the brain gradually gets used to the need to get nicotine for:

  • revitalization;
  • calm down

Moreover, in both cases it will be only a conditioned-reflex reaction, which is largely due to the effect of nicotine on nerve cells.

How does nicotine addiction develop

Now, when a person feels nervous tension, fatigue or overexcitement, the brain gives a well-known signal: “you need to smoke”, which is easily perceived by the mind, and the hands are drawn to the pack.

The paradox is that almost every addicted person falls into the trap of addiction, but with the smallest delay in nicotine ingestion, the adjustment of consciousness at the emotional level is turned on: smokers describe this condition as fear and depression, which arise for no apparent reason felt especially dismal. The easiest way to get rid of these negative emotions is to smoke.

As a result, a vicious circle is formed, and gradually the fear of never quitting smoking, shame for one's own lack of will, a sense of hopelessness, is added to unreasonable fears.

Many experts believe that it is just a small physiological dependence on nicotine, because the substance quickly enters the body and is quickly removed from it. But here the emotional dependence on this “lung” drug is no less than on the heavier ones.

What happens in the body at this time

  1. Nicotine affects the cardiovascular system. According to some data, a day the smoker's heart shrinks by 15–20 thousand times more than that of a non-smoker, and more than 1500 liters of blood are pumped over. So, the heart and blood vessels wear out more.
  2. Poisons from cigarettes distributed by blood include the body’s natural defenses: capillaries and vessels narrow to reduce the absorption of harmful substances, but the nutrition of organs and tissues is also affected. After several months, the smallest capillaries of the arms and legs completely atrophy.
  3. In addition to nicotine, tar contains tar that deposits on the alveoli of the lungs, reducing the area for efficient gas exchange. How this affects the state of the respiratory system, you can learn from the article How the lungs look.
  4. Carbon monoxide, voluntarily inhaled by a smoker, has a very insidious property: it combines with the hemoglobin of the blood several times faster than oxygen.As a result, the body is subject to some hypoxia - lack of oxygen. It is known that carbon monoxide in the body of a smoker is 15 times more than non-smokers.

Thus, smoking really negatively affects the state of health, shortening the life of a person and worsening its quality. And about what positive changes occur in the body after giving up cigarettes, read our article What happens when you quit smoking.

Second hand smoke

If a person does not smoke himself, but inhales tobacco smoke emitted by someone else, he is also exposed to harmful substances. Such “tobacco victims” are called passive smokers. Their bodies also accumulate tar and nicotine, although in somewhat smaller amounts.

It was found that spouses of smokers are more likely to have lung and cardiovascular diseases, and children of smoking parents may get a hearing loss. A pregnant woman bringing a cigarette to her mouth should understand that the fetus is exposed to nicotine, and the baby is often born premature, weakened and often sick. And this is not a complete list of the negative effects of tobacco smoke.