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Smoking and Tobacco

Smoke in the lungs

06/07/1999

Question:

what does the smoke from cigarettes doo exactly to the lungs?

Answer:

Smoke from cigarettes has several effects on the lungs. One effect is to inflame the airways, which causes excess mucous (phlegm) production, cough, and shortness of breath. Another effect is to gradually destroy the tiny air sacs called alveoli, which exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, eventually leading to emphysema. Another effect is to create changes in the cells leading to lung cancer.

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Response by:

Jerry   Friemoth, MD Jerry Friemoth, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati