Smokers’ Lungs Vs. Healthy Lungs: Know the Effects of Smoking


Smokers’ Lungs Vs. Healthy Lungs: Know the Effects of Smoking

As per the reports of WHO, more than 8 million people die due to tobacco consumption per year across the globe. Despite continuous warnings, an increase in awareness, and rising death tolls, the use of tobacco continues on a large scale. Since the lungs experience the deadliest effects of smoke, cancer, lung failure, and heart attack are common results of smoking. There may be different types of smokes, and probably none is great for your good health. 

If you smoke, you need to quit it right away. Here’s why!

How Does Smoking Disrupt the Functions of Healthy Lungs?

Our lungs help us in breathing. Lungs are a pair of organs made up of elastic tissues in the chest cavity. When you breathe, the air you intake passes through the trachea, a pathway in the lungs and reaches the bronchioles. It then carries the oxygen-rich air to the lungs, where carbon dioxide is expelled. 

Here, the hair-like structure along the lungs, known as cilia, helps remove dust and debris that come along with the air. The blood and the whole body then use the oxygen-rich blood. Smoking can disrupt this whole process.

How Does Smoking Affect Your Body?

A single puff of smoke that you take inside contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Out of these, at least 70 are known to cause cancer. That itself says a lot about why smoking is bad. Check out what happens to the lungs of a smoker and what are the signs of unhealthy lungs:

Coughing and Respiratory Damages

One of the very common problems of a smoker is coughing. This happens because when the smoke toxins get into your lungs, it goes deeper and inflames the lungs. This initiates the making of too much mucus, leading to not just coughing but also bronchitis and pneumonia.

Blackening of Lungs

Lungs have tiny airways, and due to smoke, these airways swell. This is the reason why smokers can feel chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing. With continuous use, the inflammation of the airways turns into scar tissue, and the sticky tar builds up badly in the lungs. All this, over the years, turns the colour of the lungs from pink to black.

Damage to Cilia

Cilia, the hair-like structure on the lungs, are temporarily paralysed due to nicotine present in cigarette smoke. Since ciliais temporarily dead, it can no longer filter dust and debris from the air you breathe. So, smokers have a high chance of catching respiratory infections and problems like colds.

Alveoli Damage

Smoking damages the alveoli present in your lungs. Alveoli are responsible for bringing oxygen to the body. Smoking causes irreversible damage to alveoli, and once they are destroyed, there's no way they can grow back. 

Hence, the ability of your lungs to carry oxygen-rich blood to the body weakens with an increase in the carbon monoxide present in cigarette smoke. All of these disrupt the functioning of the lungs and vital organs of the body.

What are the Effects of Smoking?

Smoking causes destructive damage to your body, most of which may be irreversible. Quitting immediately is the only proven shortcut. Read on to learn more about what are the dangers of smokers:

Smokers’ Lungs Vs. Healthy Lungs

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coarse coughing
  • Impaired athletic performance
  • Degraded lungs health
  • Bad breath
  • Yellow teeth
  • Bad smell from the body, hair, and clothes
  • High chances of developing all types of cancers
  • Possibility of developing the symptoms of lung diseases like COPD, pneumonia
  • Diseases of vital organs like kidney, stomach, liver, pancreas, mouth, bladder, and oesophagus
  • Smokers are also prone to health problems like:
  1. A heart attack
  2. A stroke
  3. Coronary artery disease
  4. Damaged blood vessels.

Smokers Lungs Vs Healthy Lungs 

The image below gives a clear idea of the difference between a smoker’s lungs and healthy lungs. Let us also take a look at the difference in detail-

Smokers Lung Healthy Lungs
A smoker’s lungs, in a few months, can turn grey or black Healthy lungs are pink in colour
They may get hyperinflated They have a normal size
Smoker’s lungs may develop patches of inflammation There is no inflammation/ swelling in healthy lungs
A smoker’s lungs will suffer from diaphragm muscle loss Healthy lungs have a dome-shaped diaphragm

How does Smoking Affect Your Health Insurance? 

In today's time, having health insurance coverage is of utmost importance. The medical costs are on a continuous rise, and one trip to the hospital can exhaust your hard-earned savings. Hence, a health insurance plan is a must to have much-needed financial support in times of need.

The coverage between a regular plan and a smoker's health insurance plan may broadly be the same. However, you must know that a smoker may have some limitations when it comes to a health insurance plan. Smokers are likely to pay a higher premium than non-smokers. On the other hand, it is also important to have health insurance coverage if you are a regular smoker since smokers are at high risk of developing health problems. 

While at Care Health Insurance, you may be able to get yourself the best health insurance plan. We still request you to Quit Smoking Today!

The moment you quit smoking, your lungs start to feel better and function better. At first, you may cough more because the Cilia get active and start clearing extra mucus. Within 12 hours of quitting smoking, your lungs start to repair the damage, helping you breathe better. 

Over to You

Remember, it is never too late to quit smoking. Within a few weeks to months, the risk of developing serious smoking and cancer risk, including lung diseases like COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), can decrease by a drastic level. Quitting an addictive habit like smoking can be tough but not impossible.

It may seem easier said than done, but the process requires you to take that first step. You can talk to your doctor or your loved ones to help you in this journey. You may also switch to a few alternatives (nicotine patches, e-cigarettes) so you can quit smoking slowly but completely, at your own pace. Do not fret if you experience withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor and counsellor to get all the help you need.

>> Also Read: Facts about Health Insurance If You Are a Smoker


The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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