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Why does nicotine cause necroses?

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Wiki User
2008-10-22 18:27:53

== == I'm not sure I know what you mean by "necoses", since that

is not an actual word, but I know that medical terms can be

difficult to figure out, especially the spelling. It would be

helpful if you would re-write the question and include what you

mean by this word. I will assume, for the time being, that you are

referring to "necrosis", which means that tissue in the body dies,

(Necro=death; osis=condition of.) If you are referring to lung

tissue or other cells in the body, smoking cigarettes doesn't

actually cause tissue *death* of the little air sacs...that would

mean there is rotting tissue inside the body and this would lead to

severe infection, not to mention many other problems, but it *does*

mean that the the air sacs and the tiny finger-like projections in

the lungs (called cilia) become unable to function. (The cilia are

responsible for "sweeping" unwanted material from the lungs.) It is

actually the *tar* in the cigarette smoke that does most of the

tissue damage, not nicotine, though nicotine does do other types of

damage. The tar coats the tiny air sacs (called "alveoli") in the

lungs and makes the alveoli unable to exchange the "good" air for

the "bad" air, and it also makes them very stiff. It does this to

the cilia as well and they become unable to rid the lungs of all

the harmful build-up of the cigarette by-products. That's why so

many people who have smoked for a long time usually get

"emphysema", or as it's also called, chronic obstructive pulmonary

disease...COPD for short. As this disease advances, a person is

able to breathe in with some difficulty (because of the stiff or

"dead" air sacs), but cannot push all the "bad" or "used" air out.

That means they retain the carbon dioxide and other by-products of

respiration that then build up in the blood stream.


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