The harmful effects of smoking were first discovered fifty years ago. Since the importation of tobacco in Europe, attitudes toward consumption were different – from being considered as a cure for many diseases, to the fact that smoking cigarettes can be punished, and in the first decades of the 20th century has become a socially acceptable habit.

In the mid 20 century, a research started to determine the smoking effect on health. In 1952, English doctors R. Doll and AB Hill proved that, among a group of 40,000 patients, causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer, as well as myocardial infarction and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

In 1964 has been published a report of the American Medical Officer (the Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health) in which smoking is definitely declared as a risk factor and cause for a number of diseases that reduce healthy life and lead to premature death. Since then, numerous clinical, laboratorian and epidemiological studies in the world examined the effects of smoking on health and confirmed that consumption of tobacco and tobacco products, particularly cigarette smoking, and exposure to tobacco smoke or the so-called passive smoking, significantly contribute to morbidity and precursory death from many diseases.

The impact of smoking regarding the human organism

One tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 different chemical ingredients. The most famous of them – nicotine which is very addictive. The human organism gradually gets used to nicotine. According to smokers, over 5mg more doses of nicotine causes symptoms of acute poisoning, a single lethal dose is 40 to 60 mg of nicotine. With one smoked cigarette 1.5-2.5 mg of nicotine is absorbed, which is injected in the body relatively rapidly, but the smoker during the day can consume greater amounts of nicotine without signs of toxicity. Nicotine directly stimulates in small doses, but in large inhibits nerve impulses. In the central nervous system after initial excitation (respiratory center, vasomotor center, the center for vomiting) increase the dose followed by tremors and convulsions, followed by paralysis and death.

Influence of nicotine on the adrenal gland releases adrenaline and noradrenaline, which leads to an increase of the heart rate, the compression of blood vessels and the small increase in blood pressure. In addition to these effects of ingredients in tobacco smoke inhaled into the lungs, passes into the bloodstream and cause damage to the endothelial cells of blood vessels. They are activators cracking atheroma and participants in thrombogenicity.

Smoking and heart disease


Smoking increases the risk of heart and blood vessels, and particularly to heart attack, stroke and peripheral circulatory disease. Smoking doubles the risk of dying from heart disease and blood vessels, and 30 to 40% of all deaths from coronary heart disease associated with smoking.

For fifty constituents of tobacco smoke, in particular tar, have been shown to have a carcinogenic effect. Today it is considered that smoking is a major risk factor for developing cancer of the bronchus and lung, larynx, pharynx, oral cavity, esophagus, kidney, bladder, pancreatic and cervical cancer and some forms of leukemia are more common in people who smoke.

Tobacco smoke contains irritants that lead to increased production of mucus, ciliary epithelium damage to the tool and the constriction of the bronchioles, and the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The mortality rate of this disease is six times more common in smokers than in nonsmokers. Smoking is also a predisposing factor for respiratory infections and exacerbations of asthma.

Carbon monoxide in cigarettes
One of the harmful ingredients of tobacco smoke is the carbon monoxide (CO), which is 200 times faster than the hemoglobin bound with oxygen. In smokers of 10 to 15% of hemoglobin may be bound to CO, which decreases the oxygen supply of the organism, and in particular is harmful to people with heart disease, particularly angina pectoris. Carbon monoxide increases the permeability of blood vessel walls of cholesterol and promotes the formation of atheroma and thus helps in the development of heart disease and blood vessels.

Pregnant women who smoke, carbon monoxide reduces the oxygen supply of the fetus, which carries the risk of developing fetus. Therefore, they often have children low birth weight, and sudden infant death is more common in children of mothers who smoke.

Smoking significantly affects the reproductive health. It increases the risk of infertility. The individual studies have shown that women who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day have three times greater risk of primary tubal infertility and a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. Women who smoke during pregnancy have a higher risk of premature birth and miscarriage.

Also, women who smoke are more likely to menstrual disorders (dysmenorrhea, irregular menstruation, etc.) And 2-3 years earlier onset of menopause, and with that and the early termination of a protective effect of estrogen in terms of developing osteoporosis and heart disease and blood vessels.