Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Serious new COVID-related smoking threat discovered by researchers

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Researchers (BGU) have found for the first time that cigarette smoke toxicity impacts the protective biofilm in the lungs, particularly concerning when paired with COVID-19 respiratory issues.

Genetics

Exposure to cannabis alters the genetic profile of sperm

As legal access to marijuana continues expanding across the U.S., more scientists are studying the effects of its active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in teens, adults and pregnant women.

Health

Thirdhand smoke affects weight, blood cell development in mice

The sticky residue left behind by tobacco smoke can do worse damage than stinking up furniture and discoloring walls. Exposure to thirdhand smoke leads to biological effects on weight and cell development that could be damaging ...

Health

New e-cigarettes affect users' airways

(Medical Xpress) -- E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are promoted as a safer alternative to smoking. However, a new study published in the journal Chest, shows that these e-cigarettes cause immediate changes in the ...

Health

Cigarette smoke directly damages muscles in the body

Not only is smoking bad for your lungs, but new research shows that components in cigarette smoke directly damages your muscles. The research, published in The Journal of Physiology, indicates that smoking decreases the number ...

Health

Study reveals cannabis users age faster

A study carried out by researchers from The University of Western Australia has found significant detrimental effects to the vascular system from smoking cannabis, including early ageing.

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Tobacco smoking

Tobacco smoking is the practice where tobacco is burned and the vapors either tasted or inhaled. The practice began as early as 5000–3000 BC. Many civilizations burnt incense during religious rituals, which was later adopted for pleasure or as a social tool. Tobacco was introduced to the old world in the late 1500s where it followed common trade routes. The substance was met with frequent criticism, but became popular nonetheless. German scientists formally identified the link between smoking and lung cancer in the late 1920s leading the first anti-smoking campaign in modern history. The movement, however, failed to reach across enemy lines during the Second World War, and quickly became unpopular thereafter. In 1950, health authorities again began to suggest a relationship between smoking and cancer. Scientific evidence mounted in the 1980s, which prompted political action against the practice. Rates of consumption from 1965 onward in the developed world have either peaked or declined. They however continue to climb in the developing world.

Smoking is the most common method of consuming tobacco, and tobacco is the most common substance smoked. The argicultural product is often mixed with other additives and then pyrolyzed. The resulting vapors are then inhaled and the active substances absorbed through the alveoli in the lungs. The active substances trigger chemical reactions in nerve endings which hightens heart rate, memory, alertness, and reaction time. Dopamine and later endorphins are released, which are often associated with reward and pleasure. As of 2000, smoking is practiced by some 1.22 billion people. Men are more likely to smoke than women, however the gender gap declines with younger age. The poor are more likely to smoke than the wealthy, and people of developing countries than those of developed countries.

Many smokers begin during adolescence or early adulthood. During the early stages, smoking provides pleasurable sensations and thus serves as a source of positive reinforcement. After an individual has smoked for many years, the avoidance of withdrawal symptoms and negative reinforcement become the key motivations.

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