A Nurse Explains How Smoking Affects Your Lungs

Although people know that smoking can seriously damage their health, they continue to smoke. Smoking can cause serious health complications and can seriously damage your lungs. If you are a smoker or you know someone who smokes, read the following article to find out how seriously can smoking affect your health and well-being.

Here is what happens to your lungs if you smoke cigarettes every day

Stated by NHS (National Health Service), smoking causes the following risks to your respiratory health and lungs:

  • Most importantly, smoking cigarettes lowers your immunity, making you more susceptible to coughs and colds. Smoking may lead to more serious and fatal diseases such as: pneumonia, lung cancer and emphysema. Even 84% of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking. 83% of deaths were due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Smoking destroys lung tissue and narrows airways. People who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will have lack of breath much faster during activities. These people often have persistent cough accompanied with phlegm. People with COPD also often have chest infections
  • Also, there is a chance of getting mouth/throat cancer. More than 93% of throat cancers are caused by smoking.

If you smoke every day, smoking can cause inflammation into your lungs. This inflammation will restrict air passages and will make them unable to breath. Your lungs have alveoli which aid the transfer of oxygen. Smoking destroys the alveoli and they don’t grow back. In other words, you destroy your own lungs when you smoke.

Smoking paralyzes and eliminated cilia, the tiny hairs in your airways. The cilia remove mucus and dirt and provide that your lungs stay healthy and free from debris. Without having cilia, you will be at greater risk of infections because nothing is there to remove contaminants.

If you smoke, you will be at higher risk of mortality than non-smokers. A study in BMJ Journals shows that, both men and women in Norway who smoked 1-4 cigarettes daily had higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease and other health issues. Women were at greater risk of dying from lung cancer.

Now when you know the risks of smoking, we will show you what actually your lungs will look like after 20 years of every day smoking.

Amanda Eller, a nurse from North Carolina, uploaded video to facebook and showed how the lungs of a smokers and non-smokers will look like after 20 years. In the first video, she blows air into the lungs of the smoker to illustrate what happens to your lungs from smoking. In the second video, she blows air into the lungs of the non-smoker. By the colour of the lungs you can easily guess which lung is of the smoker and which is of the non-smoker. The black lungs are the smokers’, and the pink, healthy looking ones are the non-smokers’.


We can see that non-smokers’ lungs expand normally after air is pumped into them. Smokers’ lungs are hardly expanded after pumping an air into them.

Even smoking is bad for our health, many people still smoke due to stress, peer pressure or habit. You inhale over 5,000 different chemicals, including nicotine and tar, when you smoke. If you want to get relieved from stress, don’t smoke but try to do something positive like meditation yoga or exercise. Remember that you are the only one who can improve your own health and change the bad habits.