Thursday, January 13, 2011


A little drastic...don't ya think?  But this is reality for some people who just can't give up their cancer sticks.  I can't tell you how many times when I receive report on a patient I hear that he/she has a history of smoking.  Then, when I get my patient off the breathing machine, they have trouble oxygenating because they smoke.  When I ask that patient how much he smokes, the answer is always the same, "Not that much.  Only..."

What people fail to realize that when they smoke, the smoking doesn't just affect their lungs. 

Warning!!!  Some of the following pictures are graphic in nature and are not for the weak of stomach.  I wanted to show you stuff that we see in hospitals all the time.  Obviously, I'm anti-smoking.  Have been all of my life, and therefore, have some very strong opinions regarding smoking!   

~Smoking  causes a number of different cancers out there. 

~The combination of nicotine and carbon monoxide in each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your heart rate and blood pressure, which strains your heart and blood vessels, leading to heart disease and strokes.

~The slowing of your blood flow cuts off oxygen to feet and hands, causing narrowing of the arteries which can lead to amputation of your extremities related to peripheral vascular disease.  See below...

~Here's an interesting fact that I learned:  A 20 cigarette a day smoker breathes in up to a cup full of tar in a year!  EWWWW!  How can you oxygenate your body when your lungs look like this:

~Some smokers say, "I smoke low tar cigarettes".  Like that is supposed to make it ok?  Well, guess what? Low tar cigarettes don't help.  Here's why: smokers usually take deeper puffs and hold the smoke in for longer, dragging the tar deeper into their lung tissue.

~Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.

~Smoking causes disease and is a slow way to die. The strain of smoking effects on the body often causes years of suffering. Emphysema is an illness that slowly rots your lungs. People with emphysema often get bronchitis again and again, and suffer lung and heart failure.  Most people become oxygen dependent.

~Another interesting fact for all you men out there...Lung cancer from smoking is caused by the tar in tobacco smoke. Men who smoke are ten times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers.

~Heart disease and strokes are also more common among smokers than non-smokers.

~Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which leads to heart attack.

~Smoking causes around one in five deaths from heart disease.

~In younger people, three out of four deaths from heart disease are due to smoking.
And this is a real have a choice as to what you do to your own body.  The baby can't make that choice until older.
~Cigarette smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight, prematurity, spontaneous abortion, and perinatal mortality in humans, which has been referred to as the fetal tobacco syndrome.

So, please!  Think twice before you put that next cigarette into your mouth.

Hope I gave you pause...It's one thing to say I'm FOS, but you seriously don't want to end up in an ICU somewhere clinging to life on a ventilator when all you had to do was throw that pack of cigarettes away once and for all.  There are so many ways out there to help you quit, you really don't have any excuse.  Below is a patient who appears to have had a radical neck dissection for oral/neck cancer.  He doesn't happen to be trached, and is currently off a ventilator.  But these are not fun surgeries to have to go through.  Painful to say the least.  You can't talk. And you can't eat.  He is being fed through a small feeding tube placed into his nose that is threaded into his stomach.

You can't say I didn't tell you so! 

Have a great Thursday!

1 comment:

Lung Cleanse said...

After seeing images like this over and over again I am still not desensitised to them. It is truly horrific what smokers do to their lungs.

I see you used the lung comparison image from my website too - a very stark example. I hope it helps someone quit - or never start smoking.