Acute Effects Of Smoking Tobacco

• Increased airways resistance occurs due to the nonspecific effects of submicronic particles, e.g. carbon particles less than 1 |im across. The effect is reflex; even inert particles of this size cause bronchial narrowing sufficient to double airways resistance; this is insufficient to cause dyspnoea, though it might affect athletic performance. Pure nicotine inhalations of concentration comparable to that reached in smoking do not increase airways resistance.

• Ciliary activity, after transient stimulation, is depressed, and particles are removed from the lungs more slowly.

• Carbon monoxide absorption may be clinically important in the presence of coronary heart disease (see above) although it is physiologically insignificant in healthy young adults.

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