Which part of the human lungs is severely affected while smoking and why ?

Asked by Athreya | 7th Jun, 2016, 08:16: PM

Expert Answer:

  • Smoking greatly affects the lungs and the airways. Continuous smoking causes variety of problems related to breathing. 
  • Cigarette smoke contains several chemicals which interfere with the body's mechanism of filtering air and cleaning out the lungs.
  • The smoke irritates the lungs and leads to overproduction of mucus. It also paralyses the cilia that line the airways and clean out dust and dirt. Paralysis of the cilia leads to accumulation of mucus and toxic substances, resulting in congestion of the lungs.
  • In extreme cases such as asthma, the inflamed air passages become narrow when exposed to cigarette smoke. This causes an asthma attack.
  • Long term exposure of the lungs to the irritants in tobacco smoke destroys the normal lung structure. The elastic walls of the small airways within the lungs are broken down. This reduces the amount of lung tissue available for the transfer of oxygen from the air to the blood causing a condition called emphysema. 

Answered by Sheetal Kolte | 8th Jun, 2016, 02:40: PM