Smoking causes high blood pressure, lowers your ability to exercise, and makes your blood more likely to clot.
It also decreases HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the blood.
Tobacco smoke has many chemicals and particles that irritate the airways and lungs.
When a smoker inhales these substances, the body tries to get rid of them by making mucus and coughing. Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General.
In later stages of the disease, patients can only breathe comfortably with oxygen.
Emphysema cannot be cured or reversed, but it can be treated and slowed down if the person stops smoking. Associations between frequent headaches, persistent smoking, and attempts to quit.
It’s a major cause of coronary heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack. How Does Smoking Affect the Heart and Blood Vessels?
Over time, the airways get blocked by scar tissue and mucus, which can lead to bad lung infections (pneumonia).
There’s no cure for chronic bronchitis, but quitting smoking can help keep symptoms under control. Normally, the lungs contain millions of tiny sacs that help oxygen get into the blood.
Over time, these sacs can break down to the point where a person with emphysema must work very hard to get enough air, even when at rest.
People with emphysema are at risk for many other problems linked to weak lung function, including pneumonia. Smoking and the patency of lower extremity bypass grafts: a meta-analysis.