Tag Archives: copd

Cigarette Smoke Exposure Not Safe in Any Amount

Have you seen the recent new headline: Surgeon General Issues Latest Warning: Tobacco Smoke Exposure Not Safe in Any Amount?

Statistics highlight how one in five Americans are first-hand smokers. Whether these smokers have one cigarette a week, or an entire pack a day, the poisonous effects of cigarette smoke does not discriminate.

There are millions of others who are exposed to second-hand smoke, whether regularly or irregularly. These people are also at equal risk to the poisonous effects of tobacco smoke.

The Surgeon General stresses that no amount of cigarette smoke is safe for anyone.

Surgeon General’s Warning

For over 45 years the Surgeon General has been issuing strong warnings about the consequences of smoking and tobacco exposure. In the latest release, the Surgeon General warns against any and all exposure to tobacco smoke: whether a smoker or a second-hand bystander, no level of smoke is considered safe.

Social smokers often consider their habit “safer” because their exposure is limited to a cigarette here and there. Not so, claims the Surgeon General. Cigarette smoke immediately travels from the cigarette, into the lungs, and into the blood stream.

The toxins then attack the blood vessels, causing them to narrow, and even encourages clotting of the blood. This increases the person’s chance of heart attack or stroke.

Immediate Effects of Cigarette Smoke

There are numerous deadly effects of smoking on the body. Specific immediate effects pointed out by the Surgeon General include:

  • The blood pumped through the body carries the toxins from the tobacco to every organ, thus affecting every organ’s functioning.
  • The tobacco smoke’s toxins affect the body’s DNA, leading to different types of cancers.
  • The functions of the lungs are affected by the tobacco smoke’s poisons, leading to COPD.

While smoking for longer periods of time will increase the negative effects of smoking, no cigarette—not even one, and not even second-hand smoke—is a safe amount to be exposed to.

The Only Solution: Prevention

No matter how long a person has been smoking, quitting is the best thing that can be done to stop the poisoning and toxic effects of cigarettes on the body. Quitting at any stage gives your health a boost.

Reference: “Surgeon General: One Cigarette is One Too Many” by Lauran Neergaard
[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/09/surgeon-general-1-cigaret_n_794250.html\

Smoking-Related Illnesses Come with Significant Costs

Nicotine dependence is the physical vulnerability to the chemical nicotine, which is potently addicting when delivered by various tobacco products.

Smoke from cigarettes, cigars and pipes contains thousands of chemicals, including nicotine.

Being addicted to tobacco brings a host of health problems related to the substances in tobacco smoke. These effects include damage to the lungs, heart and blood vessels.

According to the American Lung Association, smoking cost the United States over $193 billion in 2004, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,260 per adult smoker.

Vintage Photo Girl SmokingWhen people inhale, they are ingesting a chemical parade that marches through the body’s vital organs. Mayo Clinic.com reviews the negative health effects throughout the body, including:

Lungs. Smoking is the cause of most cases of lung cancer. Smoking also is the primary cause of other lung problems, such as emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis.

Heart and circulatory system. Smoking increases your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. If people smoke more than 25 cigarettes daily, they have five times the risk of heart disease compared to someone who doesn’t smoke.

Cancer. Smoking is a major cause of cancer of the esophagus, larynx, throat (pharynx) and mouth and contributes to cancer of the bladder, pancreas, liver, kidney, cervix, stomach, colon and rectum, and some leukemias.

Appearance. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can dry and irritate the skin, as well as promote wrinkles. Smoking also yellows teeth, fingers and fingernails.

Fertility. Smoking increases the risk of infertility and miscarriage in women and the risk of impotence and infertility in men.

Senses. Smoking deadens the senses of taste and smell, so food isn’t as appetizing as it once was.For most people, smoking cessation is difficult. In fact, quitting smoking might be one of the most challenging things an individual ever does. A feature on MayoClinic.com explains why smoking cessation matters, what to expect and how to stick with it.

Rochester, MN (PRWEB) October 10, 2008 

About the Mayo Clinic Website

Launched in 1995 and visited more than 15 million times a month, this award-winning Web site offers health information, self-improvement and disease management tools to empower people to manage their health.

Produced by a team of Web professionals and medical experts, MayoClinic.com gives users access to the experience and knowledge of the more than 3,300 physicians and scientists of Mayo Clinic.

MayoClinic.com offers intuitive, easy-to-use tools such as “Symptom Checker” and “First-Aid Guide” for fast answers about health conditions ranging from common to complex; as well as an A-Z library of more than 850 diseases and conditions, in-depth sections on 24 common diseases and conditions, 16 healthy living areas including food and nutrition, recipes, fitness and weight control, videos, animations and features such as “Ask a Specialist” and “Drug Watch.”

Users can sign up for a free weekly e-newsletter called “Housecall” which provides the latest health information from Mayo Clinic.

For more information, visit > The MayoClinic.com – Nicotine dependence

Understanding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Part I

Chronic Pulmonary Disease kills over 100 thousand Americans each year.

This makes COPD the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

Take a moment and learn about COPD, and how this combination of diseases (chronic bronchitis and emphysema) combine to create COPD, and how to detect it.

click for > Part Two: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Understanding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Part II

Over twelve million people currently suffer from Chronic Pulmonary Disease in American this year.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

Take a moment and learn about treatments for COPD, and how the symptoms of this combination of diseases (chronic bronchitis and emphysema) can be controlled.

Bronchodialators are one of the most used treatments and consist of several different types. Learn about several other options to treat this incurable disease.

click for > Part One: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Why Doesn’t Every Smoker Get Emphysema?

Researchers Say It Takes Genes, Viruses and Cigarettes

Physicians say that smoking is by far the biggest cause of emphysema, but why doesn’t every smoker get the disease? If you asked Michael Holtzman, M.D., that question, he might answer that for most cases of emphysema you need a mix of genes, viruses and cigarettes.

Emphysema and the associated condition of chronic bronchitis are both disorders that contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

Research by Holtzman and his colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that someone destined to suffer from COPD may start with a susceptible genetic makeup and then experience a severe viral lung infection in early childhood.

Young Woman Picture The infection could “reprogram” the cells of the lung’s air passages and sacs, and the reprogrammed cells could react badly if the same person took up cigarette smoking, leading to COPD some time down the road.

“Cigarette smoking has created a very large population of COPD patients worldwide,” he says. “At present, we can treat them with steroids to reduce inflammation, antibiotics to suppress infections, and oxygen to help their breathlessness, but the disease will still progress until it’s fatal. We need to find treatments that stop the disease progression and to do that we need a much better understanding of how COPD develops.”

Now Holtzman and his colleagues at the School of Medicine have obtained funds from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling $14.9 million to establish a Specialized Center for Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR), an ambitious type of grant program meant to foster research that can quickly apply basic science findings to clinical problems.

Holtzman’s SCCOR program will take a comprehensive look at the molecular changes that occur as lungs become crippled by COPD, a disease that affects at least 16 million people in the United States today.

Lungs have a tree-like structure of intricately branching airways ending in tiny sacs or alveoli, which exchange gases between the blood and the air. In chronic bronchitis, airways overproduce mucus and become inflamed, obstructing airflow. In emphysema, alveoli are destroyed so they can no longer take up oxygen from the air. COPD patients can have both problems at once, and Holtzman and his colleagues are studying both issues.

Researchers will use newly developed imaging techniques, such as helium MRI, to look at the tissue of lungs removed from COPD patients undergoing lung transplants and home in on the tiny lung structures that are injured. “Then, if we find that a particular gene is overactive at a site where the disease is particularly severe, we’ll analyze the normal and abnormal function of that specific gene,” Holtzman says.

Holtzman notes that so far no other researchers have done this because it takes a combination of new imaging techniques, advanced gene analysis technologies and a highly active lung transplant program, all of which are on hand at the School of Medicine.

COPD Facts

  • COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the US and the 2nd leading cause of disability
  • COPD kills more than 120,000 Americans each year. That’s one death every 4 minutes
  • More than 12 million people are diagnosed with COPD
  • An additional 12 million likely have COPD and don’t even know it

For more information go to learnaboutcopd.org.

Source: Consumer Affairs Original Publication Date: January 22, 2007

How Your Lungs Work

You breathe in and out anywhere from 15 to 25 times per minute,

Without even thinking about it.

When you exercise, your breathing rate goes up — again, without you thinking about it.

You breathe so regularly that it is easy to take your lungs for granted.

You can’t even stop yourself from breathing if you try!

Smoker’s Lung Pathology Photo Essay

This photo essay will focus on smoker’s lung. The term “smoker’s lung” refers to the structural and functional abnormalities (diseases) in the lung caused by cigarette smoking.

First, the normal structure and function of the lung will be described and illustrated. Then, the structural and functional abnormalities caused by smoking. will be described and illustrated.

http://www.medicinenet.com/smokers_lung_pathology_photo_essay/article…

All About Smoking (ALA)

http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=22938

Contains the following topics of interest:

  • Smoking Fact Sheet
  • Data and Statistics
  • Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet
  • Secondhand Smoke and Children Fact Sheet
  • Secondhand Smoke and Your Family
  • Cigar Smoking Fact Sheet
  • International Tobacco Use Fact Sheet
  • Smoking Among Older Adults Fact Sheet
  • Image Comparison of Healthy Lung to Lung with Emphysema
  • Smoking Policies in the Workplace Fact Sheet
  • Tobacco-Free Schools Fact Sheet
  • Tobacco Product Advertising and Promotion Fact Sheet

How Smoking Hurts Your Lungs

Smoking damages your lungs natural cleaning and repair system and traps cancer-causing chemicals in your lungs.

Picture of LungsSmoking destroys the tiny hairs (cilia), which line the upper airways and protect against infection. Normally, there is a thin layer of mucous and thousands of these cilia lining the insides of your breathing tubes.

The mucous traps the little bits of dirt and pollution you breathe in, and the cilia move together like a wave to push the dirt-filled mucous out of your lungs. Then you cough, swallow, or spit up the mucous, and the dirt is out of your lungs.

When your lungs’ natural cleaning and repair system is damaged, germs, dirt and chemicals from cigarette smoke stay inside your lungs. This puts you at risk for chronic cough, chest infections, lung cancer and COPD.

View a Bronchoscopy in a Patient with Lung Cancer

The patient is a 57 year old, with a 75 pack year history of smoking, who was found to have a carcinoma in the upper portion of his right lung.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” ~ John Powell

Click to learn How the Lung’s Work at HowStuffWorks.com