The Effects of Smoking on the Nervous System

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Nervous System

  • A person's nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and various nerves that connect the two and run throughout the body. The nervous system carries electrical impulses to the muscles and sinews, which bring information back to the brain so it can be analyzed. A malfunction in a person's nervous system can lead to severe problems in inter-body communication. The nervous system is vulnerable to certain chemicals, especially those found in drugs. This includes tobacco, and what happens when a person smokes it.

Nicotine

  • When a person smokes, he usually does so to absorb nicotine from the cigarette. In large doses, nicotine acts like a deadly poison; in smaller does, it acts like a stimulant. When a person lights a cigarette, she inhales the smoke through her mouth and into the lungs. Tobacco smoke consists of particles of tar, and attached to the tar is nicotine. Once nicotine is in the lungs, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the brain. Once the nicotine is in the brain, it affects the nervous system. Depending on a person's mood, the effects of smoking may be relaxing or stimulating, but the neurological reactions are the same.

Effects

  • When nicotine reaches a person's nervous system, it causes the nervous system to become more sensitive and stimulated. This leads to an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, faster respiration and constriction of the arteries. These are all short-term effects of smoking, but they're the effects people notice most. However, the long-term effects of smoking on the nervous system are quite dangerous. According to thescooponsmoking.org, the nervous system can be damaged by long-term exposure to nicotine, making a person more susceptible to conditions such as muscular sclerosis. If a person already has a nervous system disorder, smoking can aggravate that disease and possibly make it worse.

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