According to scientific experts, cigarettes contain more than 4,000 different chemicals, 70 of which are known carcinogens. The chemicals cause short and long term damage to the body, more so the lungs.
Most smokers experience shortness of breath due to lung damage. Long-term smoking can cause COPD, asthma and lung cancer, producing breathing difficulties.
Just hours after smoking a cigarette, the hair-like structure called cilia which clean out lungs slow down.
Additionally, more mucus is the result of smoking and once the mucus thickens, it makes it tough to clear the lungs.
As a result, when smokers are exercising, they experience breathlessness. Further respiratory disorders are the result of smoking and these can adversely affect breathing capacity.
COPD, Asthma and Breathlessness Due to Smoking
Quitting cigarettes lowers chances of developing lung diseases. The National Institutes of Health reported COPD prevails and the leading result of the disease is smoking.
Two major types of COPD include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Most people with smoking addiction fall prey to these problems.
Consequently, the following symptoms of COPD result in breathlessness chiefly mucus overproduction, fatigue, frequent infections and wheezing.
In another study of smokers with asthma, those who quit the addiction showed considerable improvement in breathing plus overall lung functioning just a week after not smoking.
Cigarettes cause smokers to have a higher chance of developing cancer. CDC has warned that the largest risk is lung cancer.
Smokers are 10 to 20 times more likely to get cancer or die from lung cancer, as against non-smokers. Cancer of the mouth, throat, pancreas and kidney, bladder and cervix are also more likely for smokers.
Around 80 percent of people with lung cancer are smokers. Many benefits to quitting are there.
Within 72 hours of ceasing to smoke, rapid fall in breathing related symptoms is noted. But in contrast, you can expect more mucus in the lungs leading to wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath over the long term, making it tough to exercise.
Smoking actually affects the ability to undertake physical activity and reach the true fitness potential. Once smoking is quit, one can exercise for as long as two weeks after the last smoke.
The lungs can also be badly impacted by smoking. Coughing, colds, wheezing and lung diseases are just the beginning.
Smoking can cause fatal disorders such as pneumonia and emphysema besides chronic medical conditions such as lung cancer. Smoking leads to 84% of deaths from lung cancer and 83% of all COPD deaths.
Reasons for Difficulties in Breathing
A collection of progressive and debilitating diseases known as COPD is the chief cause of breathlessness in smokers during exercising.
Those with COPD have problems breathing due to narrowing of airways and destruction of lung tissues. Basic symptoms of COPD include breathlessness when active, a persistent cough with phlegm and constant chest infections.
Though early signs of COPD can be dismissed as a smoker’s cough, people can continue smoking and the condition becomes worse.
It really impacts on the quality of life and the disease progression can stop, only if you quit. Among adults who smoke everyday, 87 percent try their first cigarette at the age of 18 and 95% by 21.
Chronic lung disease is the reason for a majority of the smoking conditions and smokers who quit can cut down on breathlessness during exercise.