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Your Body on… Smoking

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Your Body on… Smoking

If you think lighting up on girls’ nights out is a harmless vice, think again.

By Laura Beil, Women’s Health

The average cigarette is gone in 10 puffs and five minutes, but that’s five minutes of havoc as 4,000 chemicals infiltrate your organs.

0 to 10 Seconds

As you take the first drag, smoke passes through your mouth, leaving a faint brown film on your pearly whites. Toxic gases such as formaldehyde and ammonia immediately put your immune system on alert, causing allover inflammation.

8 Ways to beat bad breath.

Once in the windpipe, the cigarette smoke temporarily slows your cilia, the tiny sweepers that work to clear your respiratory system of mucus and invading particles. Meanwhile, airborne nicotine passes instantly into your bloodstream through the millions of capillaries in your lungs.

Your body gets a jolt of energy as that nicotine hits your adrenal glands, triggering an outpouring of adrenaline that raises your blood pressure and heart rate. Your heart is unable to relax fully between beats–and you are now at a higher risk of having a stroke.

At the same time, carbon monoxide (a toxic component also found in car exhaust) from the smoke is starting to build up in your blood, limiting your body’s ability to transport oxygen to your vital organs.

Via the blood-stream, nicotine hits your brain, where certain nerve cells respond by letting loose a torrent of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.

How to improve your senses.

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Rodale is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.


+ add your own
5:16AM PDT on Sep 22, 2015

Never have a try

3:40AM PDT on Apr 10, 2014

Thank you

10:45AM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

thank you!

12:26PM PDT on Jun 21, 2011


4:54AM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

Keep trying

5:25PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Never start is the best remedy.

1:54PM PDT on Jun 2, 2011

I've never smoked, but I'm sure second hand is just as bad. Stop smoking people!!!

11:59AM PDT on May 22, 2011

wow, good to know.

5:32AM PDT on May 21, 2011

If anyone still needs any encouragement to stop smoking surely reading this will do it! Thank you.

12:25PM PDT on May 20, 2011

pure sensationalism. there's a lot worse things out there you should be addressing.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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