To answer the question “Does smoking kill cells?” many researchers have now proven that smoking, a habitual necessity, is directly linked to the cessation of the normal functioning of brain cells and their production. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 6 million individuals die per year and these numbers will significantly increase possibly up to 8 million if serious steps are not taken.
Why do people smoke?
Many individuals begin smoking during their teenage years, typically out of curiosity or to experiment. Smokers are generally dependent on smoking for social or work reasons as they claim it helps them concentrate and stress less. For most, it is simply a mean of relaxation. The easy availability is one of the major reasons why many people try out cigarette smoking.
In contrast to a smoker’s theory of how effective cigarette smoking is when it comes to “improving” their lives, cigarette smoking is actually continued because of a drug contained, called nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, due to which, despite knowing the consequences of smoking, smokers still resort to this habit for their welfare.
Effects on smoking on brain cells
Studies show that nicotine, present in tobacco smoke is the most potent stimulant and addictive agent in the world. Nicotine is absorbed within 8 to ten seconds in the bloodstream in the lungs, which is thereby, circulated to all the organs and cells of the body, including those of the brain.
Nicotine is a detrimental drug that can increase blood pressure and bring a rapid rise in heart rate, which ultimately increases a person’s risk of stroke and heart attack.
Smoking is the fastest way to affect the brain. Research has proven that nicotine mimics natural chemicals such as endorphins and norepinepherin. Endorphins are referred to as “mood lifters” as they increase your feelings of motivation, pleasure and relaxation, whereas norepinepherin enhances alertness by increasing your heart rate. Nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine as well, which is a neurotransmitter that is linked to pleasure and addiction. These features of smoking explain why people get addicted to smoking in the first place.
The presence of numerous harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke can impair brain functions drastically. Many medical experts and researchers state that smoking can actually increase white matter volume, and substantially decrease the grey matter volume. The grey matter is responsible for memory, alertness and learning. This causes a rapid decline in person’s intelligence level and memory, when taken in the long-term. (Source: https://www.doctortipster.com/15200-heavy-drinking-and-smoking-accelerates-cognitive-decline-study-says.html)
Smoking kills brain cells
How does smoking kill cells? Almost every cell in the human body requires oxygen to function, including the cells of your brain. Unfortunately, the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke can considerably reduce the function of the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs, and therefore, reduce the lung’s capacity and surface area to take in oxygen. An insufficient supply of oxygen carried to the brain can cause brain cells to die prematurely.
This brings us to the conclusion that smoking kills cells and kills you too!
Smoking, however, is not a condition that cannot be prevented. Consult a doctor if you are unable to cope with this habit yourself. To prevent smoking from killing your cells, certain measures and medications can be adapted in order to help you control nicotine addiction.
- Somatic stem cells and the kinetics of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis by John Cairns https://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10567.short
- CIGARETTE SMOKING DEPLETES CELLS SPONTANEOUSLY SECRETING Th1CYTOKINES IN THE HUMAN AIRWAY – First Department of Internal Medicine, Yokohama, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Japan; Department of respiratory Diseases, Kanagawa Cardiovascular and respiratory Disease Center, Kanagawa, Japan https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043466601908609