Effect of Smoking on Breathing in Exercise


Smoking is bad habit for health. Although it increases the performance in given time but it has more deteriorative effects as compare to its benefits.  Smoking through any source, contain nicotine as a main ingredient which produce some of its effects on our body. Besides Nicotine, Smoking contains about 300 carcinogenic substances (Cancer causing) and other particles that can provoke the Cancer and other diseases related to lungs and heart. In this article one of the effect of smoking have discussed which is common in our society. Some people use to smoke after or before starting the exercise. This is quite common in young generation.


It is widely known that smoking can decrease an Athletic or a person performance gradually. This is true for many reasons,

1st, One effect of nicotine is constriction of the terminal bronchioles of the lungs, which increases the resistance of air flow into and out of the lungs causing difficulty in breathing when we require more oxygen form air.

2nd, The irritating effects of the smoke itself cause increase fluid secretion into bronchioles tree, as well as some swelling of the epithelial linings. This may provoke the inflammation and causes difficulty in breathing and may results into respiratory diseases.

3rd, Nicotine paralyzes the cilia (Cilia act as Filters for trapping the particles from air coming into lungs) on the surfaces of the respiratory epithelial cells that normally beat continuously to remove excess fluids and foreign particles form the respiratory passage ways. As a result, much debris accumulates in the passage ways and adds further to the difficulty of breathing. Putting all these factors together, even a light smoker often feels respiratory strain during maximal exercise, and the level of performance may be reduced.

Much more severe are the effects of chronic smoking. There are few chronic smokers in whom some degree of Emphysema doesn’t develop. In this disease, the following occur:

  1. Chronic bronchitis.
  2. Obstruction of many of the terminal bronchioles.
  3. Destruction of many alveolar walls, in severe Emphysema, as much as four fifths of respiratory membrane can be destroyed. Then even the slightest exercise can cause respiratory distress. In fact, many such patients cannot even perform the simple feat of walking across the floor of a single room without gasping for breath.
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