January 7, 2014

Death By Smoke

Growing up in Europe, I was offered my first cigarette in 4th grade. Thankfully, I was at the time collecting fact magazines and one of the topics that it had covered was the effect smoking has on the lungs. What struck me was not the long article (TL;DR) but rather the picture that accompanied it. Here's a Harry Potter version of what I saw:

Pretty gnarly, huh?  Now if only I'd seen something similar for the effects of sugar... d'you think I wouldn't have such a sweet tooth now?

PS, having almost lost my grandma a couple of years ago to second-hand smoking, thought I might add a few things about the chemicals found in tobacco smoke:

  1. Tar: thick, gooey brown substance that rots and blackens the mouth. (Apparently, the tar from cigarette smoke's similar to that of marijuana smoke...)
  2. Carbon Monoxide: gas that likes to steal hemoglobin away from oxygen cause they "bind better" (what a whore!). Ensues lack of oxygen for the rest of the cells in the body.
  3. Chemicals: include hydrogen cyanide, hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides, organic acids, phenols and oxidizing agents. (Incidentally, these are also the reason why firefighters have been dying at a more rapid pace because of these toxic compounds inhaled while trying to save people, animals and homes.) By stopping the lungs from cleaning themselves out, these toxic chemicals end building up inside (it's so cozy in there!).
  4. Free Radicals:  chemicals that react with cholesterol, building up fatty deposits on arterial walls. Cue heart disease, etc.
  5. Metals:  including arsenic, cadmium, and lead.
  6. Radioactive Compounds: Polonium 210 isotope is a key factor in lung cancer among smokers.
It's amazing how many old ads showed doctors and scientists endorsing cigs!


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    1. Thank you! I just try to be clear and concise. Plus I've always liked pictures, so I try to include some in every article/post as well!

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