why does smoking kill slower than smoke inhalation?



why does smoking kill slower than smoke inhalation?

In: Biology

You’re not totally absent of oxygen when smoking. If you’re inside a burning room, the oxygen is helping to keep the fire going and is being replaced by smoke.

Edit: I should add that firefighters are increasingly looking to test their gear to see if they’ve been exposed to anything harmful. I kinda sorta helped on a project for just that. So that’s a potential death closer to regular smoking than smoke inhalation.

Smoke inhalation means that the air you are breathing lacks oxygen (and might have other dangers). Smoking cigarettes and the like will slowly destroy your lungs ability to take in oxygen at all and have other effects (cancer).

Like smoke inhalation during a fire? The main reason that smoke inhalation is the #1 cause of death during fires is simply because you’re breathing in a lot of smoke and not a lot of oxygen – instead of getting the oxygen your body needs, you’re inhaling a huge number of irritants, carbon dioxide, and most importantly carbon monoxide, which can quickly build up in your body and inhibit it from actually using the oxygen it takes in. You’re not dying of lung cancer or anything, you’re dying of oxygen deprivation aggravated by a bunch of other bad stuff.

If you’re smoking a cigarette or something, you’re doing it in a normally oxygenated environment, so any time you’re not taking a drag, you’re breathing in normal air. There’s not a large enough quantity of carbon monoxide or the other asphyxiants to build up to fatal levels and suffocate your average smoker. So the bigger issue is the long-term issues of tar buildup in the lungs, carcinogens acting on the body to cause issues like lung cancer, all of that. Inhaling smoke from a fire can also cause those problems, but for most people the bigger issue is actually being strangled by the sheer amount of smoke and the lack of oxygen.