Dangers of Smoking

Thursday, April 01, 2010

There are more than 700 chemical additives in cigarettes, some of them classified as toxic. While you may think it takes a while for smoking to damage the body, doctors have found that it begins with the first few puffs. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the findings of a study on the dangers of smoking in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Cigarette smoking starts inflicting very significant damage on the arteries with the very first puffs taken. The damage worsens as time passes and is impossible to reverse.

A study by Canadian doctors found that smoking just one cigarette increases the stiffness of the arteries in 18- to 30-year-old smokers by 25 percent.

As arteries stiffen the heart must work harder, increasing the risk for heart disease or stroke.

The study compared the arterial stiffness of 10 young smokers, who puffed five to six cigarettes a day, to 10 nonsmokers.

The study found that after exercise testing, arterial stiffness levels in nonsmokers dropped by 3 percent while increasing in smokers by 2 percent.

Even light smoking in otherwise healthy people damages the arteries, compromising the ability to cope with physical stress, such as climbing stairs.

Researchers said that young people who believe that a little smoking doesnt hurt are wrong.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.