Smoking by the second

There has been a lot of research done about all the great stuff that happens to your body when you quit smoking, but what about the awful things that occur when you’re actually puffing on a combustible cig? Surprise – it's not pleasant.

It turns out that the first drag of a cigarette is potentially the most damaging. The chemicals from lighter fluid or matches combine with the cigarette smoke, which leaves the mucous lining of your nose damaged. If you ever thought smoking looked cool, just imagine that fact the next time you see someone light up.

Now, as the cigarette continues to burn, the toxic chemicals from the smoke block the salivary glands, causing dry mouth.  Once the smoke hits a person’s throat, the formaldehyde and acrolein in it will bring on irritation. From there it enters the trachea, where it damages the body’s natural filtration system, which is the source of “smoker’s cough.” Just imagine the filter when you clean out the lint from your clothes dryer, that’s what a smoker’s trachea looks like. Following the trachea, it moves into the lungs, where it does the worst and most lasting damage, leading to cancer and other deadly diseases.

While the physical smoke damages the respiratory system, other toxins in cigarettes seep into a person's bloodstream as they puff away. Cigarette ingredients like carbon monoxide work to slow down the delivery of oxygen to all of the vital organs.

The fact is, there's not really a single part of the body that isn't negatively affected by smoking combustible cigs. You might want to remind your friends who are still smoking (just join the vaping movement, already!) the next time they bring out their pack.