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Smokers Lungs
by S2H RT Staff
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Twenty percent of all Americans smoke. The World Health Organization describes smoking as an epidemic around the world. There are lots of people who have what we describe as "smokers lungs". It's no wonder why; smoking has become a blight on those in the lower socio-economic cultures of the world. Tobacco revenues are in the billions. All this without advertisement on television or radio. So why?

It's amazing how this type of economic juggernaut causes so many health problems for its consumers. Smokers lungs are just the beginning. What about cardiac disease, vascular disease, cancer, and all the rest?

The tobacco business goes all the way back to our founding fathers. Remember from history class what a cash crop was? That's right: tobacco was the cash crop king and was a primary export to mother England. It wove it's way throughout the economic fabric of our growing country and it hasnít looked back.

So here we are, over 200 years later and weíre having to answer the question of whether tobacco is really that bad for you. Everyone in healthcare can tell you the answer to the question - yes, smoking is bad for you. Lets look at the statistics for a moment.

Roughly 90% of all lung cancers are attributable to smoking. Emphysema (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the US. Smoking is listed as a primary risk factor in over 70 diseases. Itís also a contributing risk factor in hundreds more. But what about the smokersí lungs.

COPD is the primary disease found in smokers lungs. It is also the single most preventable disease. You just have to quit smoking. COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. There is no cure. It is chronic and progressive which means the symptoms will begin to worsen over time. The only way to slow it down, is to stop smoking. Lets go over 3 physiologic changes that take place in the smokers lungs.

    1. The fine cilia in the throat begin to die off

    2. The muscle that forms the airways loose their rigidity and spasm or narrow

    3. The cellular walls in the tiny air sacs of the lung begin to tear apart

These three changes then result in the following symptoms:

    1. Chronic coughing

    2. Difficulty in removing secretions

    3. Elevated risk of pneumonia

    4. Shortness of breath

    5. Wheezing

    6. Poor oxygenation

These symptoms then need to be treated with medicines like expectorants, antibiotics, inhalers, nebulizers and supplemental oxygen. Not quite the glamorous retirement you envisioned for yourself is it? Relying on inhaled steroids, nebulizers and oxygen can really put a damper on your visit with the grandkids and seriously curtail your lifestyle. Many become so weakened they are house-bound,unable to travel outside their own front door.

So take smoking seriously. You know itís bad for you. There are just so many great stop smoking benefits available to you if youíd only take a look. Youíre a smart person and you can make this decision. Stop now and your smokers lungs may get a new lease on life.

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