It is the cause of 25% of all cancer deaths and 5% of all deaths (Schaadt, 1992). Most carcinogens are the actual particles in cigarette smoke that may cause lung cancer. The particles include tar, metals (nickel and cadmium), and other chemicals such as benzophyrene and dibenzanthracene. The lung airwaves are covered by a thin cell layer of epithelium, which absorbs cigarette smoke into the lungs. Once the cigarette smoke has been absorbed into the lungs, the components in the cigarette smoke reach the sputum, a type of saliva. The presence of these components in the sputum may cause mutations in the smokers genes, which may lead to the formation to cancerous tumors. The risk of developing lung cancer is directly related to the number of cigarettes smoked (Schaadt, 1992).
Many of the cancers besides lung cancer may develop as a result of cigarette smoking. One example is cancer of the larynx. Sometimes the larynx has to be removed because of the presence of a tumor, causing the smoker to breathe through a surgical opening in the wind pipe. Because the larynx is located near the voice box, the voice box will often get destroyed from the tumor on the larynx, forcing the smoker to use an artificial voice box in order to speak. Less major cancers including cancers of the cheeks, gums, lips, tongue, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas may also arise.
Another cardiovascular malfunction that cigarette smoking may cause are strokes. A stroke is damage to the brain caused by leakage from a ruptured blood vessel or an interruption in blood supply. Nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke affect the adhesives of blood platelets, the main clotting factor in blood. This can cause blood vessels to harden and form blood clots that can flow to the brain, a major cause of strokes. Nicotine can also cause the blood vessels to constrict. When a smokers arteries become too constricted, his/her blood supply to the brain View More »