Lung cancer accounts for approximately one third of cancer deaths in the American population.
Over $10 billion is spent annually on the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.
The majority of people with this disease are smokers, but former smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke are still at risk.
What Smoking Does to Your Lungs
Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke causes the invasion of over 4,000 chemicals into the lungs through the mouth and nose. These chemicals are deposited as tar in the lungs, sticking to the cilia. The function of the “hair-like” cilia is to keep the airways and lungs clean. When covered with tar, the cilia dies off. Germs and dirt do not get cleaned out and there is an accumulation of mucous. “Smoker’s Cough” is attributed to dead cilia. When dirty mucous clogs the airways and blocks the inhalation and exhalation of breath, a person’s reaction is to cough.
Long Term Effects of Smoking on the Lungs
Smoking destroys the body in many ways. A few of the long term consequences to the lungs caused by smoking and continued exposure to secondhand smoke includes:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
To see the difference in functioning between healthy lungs and tumor-covered lungs, watch the following video: