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How does Smoking effect human lungs, causes cancer and even death

Info: 3172 words (13 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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Tagged: cancerdeathsmoking

Scientific Research Skills Assignments

  1. How does Smoking effect human lungs, causes cancer and even death?
  1. Literature Review

Smoking stands for intake of tobacco or other related substances either for leisure or in severe cases as an addiction. Smoking is behavior which is reprimandable and highly non acceptable because it not only bring harms to the one who inhales it but to the one who live around him or her including the environment. Addressing the topic of smoking and spreading its proper awareness is very important. This report illustrate dangers of smoking and its effects on one’s mental, physical and psychological wellbeing. Additionally this report will deal with effect of smoking on demographic variation, socio-economic determinants and cognitive factors which are involved in smoking and related behaviors and their impact

Approximate age at which people start smoking is 15 in almost each country. Smoking which might start as a fun activity with friends becomes addiction if prolonged. Young people in their early teenage are the biggest victims of smoking and they become regular smoker till their early twenties. Excessive and addictive smoking from such early age increase the danger of early death and other highly risk full diseases. It becomes clear then that adolescents and young adults are the sole and important target of this evil hence they must be given proper awareness to be protect and prevent them to step toward this self-destruction. Doctors can be one important mean of communicating this danger to the target group of this evil but first of all peer can effect each other a lot. Young adults and teenagers take up smoking because of their social relationships and their psychological states, it is important to understand each individual and why they took up smoking. Sometimes young people think themselves of no worth or useless so they take up this down trodden road and sometimes conflicts at home or at school and college may lead to such dangerous situations. Relationships at house can also be the trigger as well as bullying. Many people are not aware or not properly aware with the working of nicotine and addictive nature of smoking. Family, peers, doctors, family physicians can play a central influential role of informing the smokers about the hazards of smoking and where it might lead them. Sometimes family is ignorant and does not care what one is doing out of home so in such cases parents and family need counseling as well to be cautious and careful about the habits and activities if their family members. Smoking cigarette causes many diseases and initial ones can be cough and phlegm production leading to severe respiratory illness (Morris. C, 1990).

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Inhale the smoke, take them as vaporizer or brew them into tea; tobacco, marijuana, hashish once into the body will affect every organ of the body, brain, nervous system and the central immunity system. Smoker feels instant changes and reactions in the body which stops after 2 to 3 hours. It effects heart, results in low blood pressure and also the blood sugar level is affected (Ratini, MDweb Medical Reference, 2014). Excessive smoking can cause cancers and other dangerous diseases. It starts by irritation and coughing and leads to lung cancer and in severe cases ends at death (Ratini, MDweb Medical Reference, 2014).

Tobacco and tobacco products are responsible for approximately 3 million deaths across the world that makes it 6% of all deaths. It is believed that deaths by tobacco and tobacco products are going to increase more than 10% by a decade and will exceed 20% in developing countries (WHO, 2011).

There is no second thought to the fact that smoking effects lungs primarily either one is a long term smoker or smoked for few times. Level of lung functioning is too low in people with the habit of smoking as compared to people who do not smoke and this functioning keep on decreasing with the ongoing habit of smoking. Smoking effects lungs and its working but symptoms may appear later and when the diseases is recognized, it is usually too late to be cured. Smoking not only causes cancer but other lung related chronic diseases as well (Spitzer, 2001).

Tobacco smoke has several different harmful particles and chemicals that causes irritation and inflammation in the respiratory tracts and lungs. When such potentially harmful substances are inhaled by a smoker, body reacts to them and releases mucus and coughing to clear them. Very smoker suffer from a morning attack of severe coughing which happens from several reasons. Human lungs contain tiny hair like extension called cilia which push and clean the potentially injurious material out of lungs but the tobacco smoking interferes with the working of cilia and effecting their sweeping action of harmful substances so consequentially much of the harmful substances stay in the lungs causing mucus discharge and inflammation of the respiratory tracts as well. So when smokers are sleeping or they aren’t smoking, cilia continues with their normal function of cleaning the harmful substances out of lungs and when smoker wake up, lungs are busy in trying to remove the particles and mucus built up a day before (questions about smoking and health, 2014) .

Working of cilia stops after prolonged exposition to smoke hence lung is unable to sweep out the harmful substances and become vulnerable to many infections and irritation causing mucus and cough. This smoker cough is the early precursor to further chronic disease like COPD, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and others.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is lung disease which results from long term smoking and includes symptoms and effects of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. According to a research nearly 12 million people in United States of America suffer with this illness and another 12 million suffer with the disease but are unaware of its early symptoms and signs. And the rate of people suffering with COPD is increasing day by day that it has become the third major reason of death in the United States. It has also been noted that women suffer from COPD more acutely then men. Major reason behind suffering from COPD is smoking, almost 80-90% of COPD deaths results from smoking. There is no cure for COPD and its effects depends on how long and heavily the patient been smoking.

Early symptoms and signs of the disease go unnoticed in early smoker, but the time it is diagnosed it has done its work. Early symptoms of the illness may include different noises like rattling and whistling in the chest, shortage of breath during some activities, heavy coughing along mucus (phlegm) discharge. With the time as the disease grows it make hard and impossible for one to breathe. It restricts one’s activities because of shortness of breath and results in grave health issues. Chronic stage of COPD cause patients to gasp for the breath (American Cancer Institute, 2014).

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is another form of COPD, an illness which causes respiratory tracts to discharge heavy mucus, thus resulting in choking and shortness of breath and makes the patient to cough out all the mucus. Bronchitis is a common disease for smokers, so smokers must be ready to face the flaks of their unhealthy habit. Constant mucus discharge results in inflamed and swollen wind pipe and produces long lasting chronic cough. With the help of medication, symptoms can be cured but cough never go away and mucus inflammation can result in bad respiratory infections as well like pneumonia. There is no treatment for chronic bronchitis but stopping smoking can do little help and can control the inflammation and cough and with the time it may get better as well but if one doesn’t leave smoking then the illness keep on growing (American Cancer Institute, 2014).


Emphysema another form of COPD results from excessive smoking which gradually hampers one’s ability to breathe. There are tiny sacks in our lungs which provide surface area to oxygen in lungs to get mixed with the blood. But in emphysema these small sacks rupture and results in few large sacs which narrows the surface area and allow less oxygen to enter blood and sometime very less oxygen mix up with blood. With the passage of time disease get severe, very little oxygen reach up to blood and person had to do lot of efforts to breathe. It not only hampers one’s daily activities but make one gasp for breath even at rest.

Symptoms of emphysema includes constant and heavy cough which never go away (Smoker’s cough), shortage of breath even when one is not working, dizziness, decrease in weight and general body fatigue. People suffering from emphysema may suffer from other health issues specifically related to lungs and can cause poor lung functioning, lung infections like pneumonia, shortage of breath to an extent that an individual has to rely on oxygen tube. There is no cure of treatment of this illness but the only possible solution is to quit smoking so the symptoms lessen down with the passage of time but if one doesn’t quit smoking it may lead to cancer and death as well (American Cancer Institute, 2014).

  1. Resources: Morris and Koyama, 1990

Joel Spitzer, 2001

American Cancer Institute, 2014

World Health Organization, 2011

  1. Two research topics can be developed from this literature
  1. Smoking is one of the leading causes of death in United states;
  2. Smoking causes lung disorders even cancer as well.

5. It is very much evident from above mentioned researches and studies that smoking have an injurious and direct effect on one’s health specifically on lungs and may lead to cancer and death as well. It is very important to study the effects of smoking, smoking behaviors and its resulting health effects because smoking is one of the greatest causes behind lung cancers and deaths across the globe. This matter should be dealt seriously and immediate attention should be paid.

6. In the above mentioned research topic “Effects of smoking on lungs leading to cancer and death” smoking is the independent variable in this proposed topic of research as it bring changes but remain unaffected itself. Lungs, cancer and death are the three dependent variables as the amount of change and effect they will bear depends on the smoking.

Smoking: Independent variable of the research, effects health, lungs, cause cancer and death;

Lungs: dependent variable, effects by the independent variable smoking;

Cancer: a major effect of smoking independent variable, is a dependent variable

Death: a dependent variable, independent variable smoking leads to death.

7. “Effects of smoking on lungs causing cancer and death”

8. Where smoking is independent variable while effects on lungs, cancer and death are dependent variable.

9. Hypothesis: Smoking effects lungs and causes cancer and even lead toward death.

Questions: 1. does smoking effects lungs functioning?

2. Does smoking cause cancer?

3. Does smoking lead to death?

Statement: Effects of smoking on lungs, causing cancer and death.

10. Questions are the best choice for the detailed study and analysis of the subject matter.

11. Questions are best suitable for this research because smoking has different forms like mild, chronic and chain smoking which have different effects on lungs, causing cancer and leading toward death. Each questions will lead to detailed answer and explanation of how and why smoking effects lungs, causes cancer and death. If hypothesis is considered as objective then it might fail to highlight the different effects of smoking on lungs, smoking causing cancer and smoking leading to death individually, and it would rather warp up the discussion generally. So questions are the most suitable mode of inquiry for this research as each effect of smoking will be answer and laid out separately.

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12. Conceptual definition: conceptual definition is the clear statement or description of something or how something works. It is used to define a term clearly, concisely and precisely. For example “Anxiety”, a conceptual definition of anxiety is unpleasant feeling effecting one’s working in few specific situations but sometimes motivate positive behaviors as well

Operational Definition: Operational definition stand for defining something under different parameters, measurements and situations in order to validate it. Operational definitions can be very simple to very complex ones depending on the variables being used. An operational definition of anxiety can be that anxiety is just not a feeling but a physiological reaction of body resulting in increased heartbeat, muscle tension, sweating etc.

13. Conceptual definition.

Smoking: an act of inhaling of tobacco or other related smoking products and exhale of smoke and other harmful gases.

Lungs: A pair of organ found in almost all the living organism specifically in vertebrates, involved in inhalation of oxygen and exhalation of carbon dioxide. Lungs provide oxygen to whole body.

Cancer: A harmful disease resulting from uncontrollable cell growth and have several different form depending on the area of body.

Death: a state where an organism is not alive, breathing or sensing the environment. Death is also called expiry.

14. Operational definitions:

Smoking: intake of tobacco and other harmful substances like nicotine etc. into lungs and outtake of harmful gases like carbon di oxide. Smoking causes social and physical illness

Lungs: a pair of respiratory organs in humans involved in the oxygenation of the body. Lung are effected by the type of air inhaled, if smoke is inhaled it will have different effects on lungs then clean fresh air.

Cancer: a specific form of cancer caused by poor functioning of lungs, inflammation of respiratory tracts, rupturing of air sacs, chronic cough and mucus discharge, difficulty or unable to breathe and physical deterioration of the lungs as well.

Death: end of life resulting when lungs stops functioning and body is unable to get oxygen.

15. Level of measurement means classifying variables to develop a scale. Nominal scale will be used to find out the percentage and tendency of lung disorders, cancer and death resulting from smoking. Descriptive statistics will be used to summarize the data collected from the sample.

16. Data collection method depends on the type of variables and the relationship between them and is a systematic process to validate the hypothesis or answer the questions. There are three data collection methods, surveys, focus groups and interviews. It is the data collection which determine the authenticity of the research. Data collection instruments stands for the process data will be collected. Survey will be the instrument precisely data collection instrument to collect data from the population to find out the answers to questions.

17. A reliable and valid research instrument always give constant and accurate results whenever tested and studied. Reliability and validity of the questions will be done by a pilot study and by experts’ advice so to make sure questions are understandable and consistent.

18. Population of study is divided into two categories depending on the instrument of data collection. Individuals from rehabilitation centers will be the main population along the cancer patients in the hospitals as well. Apart from that interviews will be conducted with the physicians of patients suffering from lung cancer.

19. Simple random sampling technique will be used as it is the most convenient process to collect data. Researcher will visit the rehabilitation center and hospital and focus on the individuals with smoking related issues.

20. Research design refers to the overall planning and strategy to carry out research by linking and integrating all the components of research to find out solution to the research problem. This study is a descriptive study to find out relationship between variables by using research questions. Descriptive study attempts to define the link between various variables and will answer all the questions descriptively.

21. This study is both qualitative and quantitative. Research questions will be analyzed quantitatively to generate statistical data while interviews will be analyzed qualitatively.


Morris. C, K. (1990). A manual on tobacco and young people for the industrialized world. http://books.google.com.pk/books/about/A_Manual_on_Tobacco_and_Young_People_for.html?id=53geAQAACAAJ&redir_esc=y

(2014). questions about smoking and health. American Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/questionsaboutsmokingtobaccoandhealth/questions-about-smoking-tobacco-and-health-how-tobacco-affects-lungs

Ratini, M. (2014). MDweb Medical Reference. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/marijuana-use-and-its-effects?page=2

Spitzer, J. (2001). neer take another puff. Retrived from http://whyquit.com/joel/Joel_02_17_smoke_in_lung.html

Tobacco, smoking and cancer: the evidence. September, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/healthyliving/smoking-and-cancer/stats-evidence/tobacco-smoking-and-cancer-the-evidence


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Smoking is an extremely crucial public health issue which is considered to be an immediate and serious threat to many developing countries across the globe. Being one of the most significant determinants of increased rate of mortality and ill-health throughout the world, smoking is still a preventable epidemic.

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