Cigarette Smoking Effect on the Respiratory System – Respiratory System Example

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

"Cigarette Smoking Effect on the Respiratory System" is a perfect example of a paper on the respiratory system. The respiratory system describes a group of organs, accessories, and structures involved in gaseous exchange. The respiratory system controls the process of inhalation and exhalation. While the term might be perceived as just breathing in and out, it also encompasses the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide through thin membranes. However, it should be noted that the respiratory system differs in function depending on an organism's habitat as well as its evolutionary history.

In human beings, the term respiratory system mainly describes the lung structure and its associated structures. The process of gaseous exchange takes place in the lungs and specifically on the alveoli, which are tiny small sacs-like.   The alveoli are moist, highly vascularized, and are numerous. The moisturized alveoli promote the diffusion of gasses, while blood capillaries' networks ensure the transportation of diffused gases. Other associated structures that aid in conveying gases are the trachea and the nostrils. The trachea subdivides to form two tracheoles, namely, left and right tracheoles, depending on the side of the chest.

Each tracheole enters the lungs and is attached to the tiny sac-like structures called alveoli, which are millions in number hence increasing the surface area for gaseous exchange. Cigarette smoke contains different components that are detrimental to the health of the smoker. Among the identified cigarette components include tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, and nitrogen oxide. Tar forms the major component of cigarette smoke and is available in the form of particles when a person smokes and inhales cigarette products. Lung structure is composed of hair-like structures called cilia, which removes foreign bodies' presence on the lung surfaces.

However, the hydrogen cyanide in cigarette smoke destroys cilia structures resulting in the accumulation of harmful substances. Also, the component of cigarette smoke becomes accumulated on the lung surfaces hence impairing gaseous exchange while also increases the risk of lung infection. Another cigarette component detrimental to human health is the carbon monoxide-it bind to hemoglobin responsible for oxygen transportation. The result is low oxygen transported to body parts. Cigarette smoking increases the level of carbon monoxide in the body.

Once inhaled, the carbon monoxide diffuses through a thin mucus membrane and enters the bloodstream and to other body parts, including the lungs, brain, heart, and kidney. Once in the blood, carbon monoxide binds hemoglobin on the surface of red blood cells; this limits the capacity of red blood cells to carry oxygen. The subsequent result is an increased level of carbon monoxide while the oxygen level decreases. A reduction in oxygen levels causes an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the body (Alman, 2002). In such a state, most metabolic activities that depend on oxygen are compromised. While the lungs are the primary site affected by cigarette smoke, other body organs are directly or indirectly impacted by cigarette smoke.

Organs such as the uterus, skin, eyes, and liver are affected by cigarette smoke. On the skin, cigarette smoking causes wrinkling, stretch marks, and dry skin (Woloshin, Schwartz & Welch, 2008). Also, smoking is linked to skin cancer, poor wound healing, and psoriasis. The uterus is directly affected by cigarette smoking, which subsequently impacts the developing fetus during pregnancy.

Eyes are directly affected by smoking, and it may lead to loss of vision in severe cases. The effect of smoking on the eyes is caused by degeneration around the eyes. Another organ that is affected by cigarette smoke is the liver. Chronic smoking is associated with liver injury and subsequently, liver cancer. Generally, cigarette smoking affects the normal blood circulation in the body, and this significantly affects the function of body organs and their associated structures.


Alman, L. K. (2002). Heart disease can hit even the young, like Kile. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Woloshin, S., Schwartz, L, & Welch, H. G. (2008). The risk of death by age, sex, and smoking status in the United States: Putting health risks in context. Retrieved from

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us