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What are the immediate effects of smoking just 1 cigarette? – Times of India

We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but have you ever wondered what happens to your body after just one cigarette? Even a single puff can trigger a series of immediate effects that impact various systems within your body. Here is all you need to know about the short-term consequences of lighting up that one cigarette.

Immediate impact on the respiratory system

As soon as you inhale the smoke from a cigarette, it begins to create a mess in your respiratory system.The toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke irritate the lining of your airways, causing them to constrict and making it harder for you to breathe. Within minutes, you may start coughing as your body attempts to expel the harmful substances.

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Cardiovascular effects

Your heart and blood vessels also bear the brunt of smoking, even with just one cigarette. Nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, enters your bloodstream rapidly, causing your heart rate to increase. This spike in heart rate puts extra strain on your cardiovascular system, elevating your blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, temporarily.

Impact on oxygen levels

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One cigarette may seem harmless, but it can have a significant impact on your body’s ability to transport oxygen. The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke binds to the haemoglobin in your red blood cells more readily than oxygen does. This means that less oxygen is available to be transported to vital organs and tissues, leading to feelings of fatigue and shortness of breath, especially during physical exertion.

Immediate effects on the brain and nervous system

The effects of smoking extend beyond just physical and also affect your brain and nervous system. Nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, giving you that temporary “buzz” or feeling of relaxation. However, this euphoric sensation is short-lived, and you may soon experience symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, such as irritability and anxiety.

Impact on oral health


Image: Canva

Smoking even a single cigarette can have detrimental effects on your oral health. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can irritate the delicate tissues in your mouth and throat, leading to bad breath and an increased risk of gum disease. Smoking stains your teeth and can contribute to the development of oral cancers.

Effects on skin health

Don’t be surprised if you notice changes in your skin after smoking just one cigarette. The toxins in tobacco smoke restrict blood flow to the skin, depriving it of essential nutrients and oxygen. This can lead to premature ageing, manifested as wrinkles, fine lines, and a dull complexion. Smoking can also increase existing skin conditions like acne and psoriasis, making them more difficult to manage.

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