Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing an estimated 438,000 deaths – or about 1 out of every 5 – each year (National Cancer Institute, 2008).
Mr. Amos is now 57 years old and has been smoking for the past 30 years of his life. A recent doctor’s visit reveals that Mr. Amos has stage 3 lung cancer, characterized by his symptoms of nagging chest pain, fatigue, coughing up blood, substantial weight loss, and increased carbon dioxide levels in his blood. The doctor informed Mr. Amos that had he quit his smoking habit several years ago, he would have reduced his risk for developing lung cancer later in life. Mr. Amos immediately begins treatment for the lung cancer that has metastasized to his lymph nodes.
Answer the following assignment questions:
- What main components in cigarettes affect the respiratory system? Explain their effects on specific organs, cells and/or processes in the respiratory system.
- There are alternate mechanisms of transporting carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2 ) in the blood. Explain how smoking might lead to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.
- Can smoking affect other organ systems of the body? Give specific examples and briefly explain your answer.
- How can you correlate cellular respiration with the respiratory system?
- Does smokeless tobacco present a reduced risk for lung cancer and other smoking associated diseases? Provide evidence for your answer.