How Does Smoking Affect the Liver?

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Smoking affects the liver by altering the way that the liver metabolizes a variety of different substances, including medications that a person may be taking. Find out how the effects of medications can be altered if a person is a cigarette smoker with help from a pulmonary disease research expert in this free video on the effects of smoking.

Part of the Video Series: Effects of Smoking
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Video Transcript

Hello. I am Dr. Davis Burns. I am a professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Cigarette smoking affects the liver by altering the way the liver metabolizes a variety of different substances. That's particularly important if you are taking any other medications, because most medications are metabolized by the liver. The effect of those medications can be altered by whether you're a cigarette smoker or not. So, the levels you'll have in your blood sometimes will be higher for certain drugs and sometimes lower for other drugs. So, it's very important to tell your physician that you're a cigarette smoker when that physician is monitoring the drugs that they are providing you for other medical reasons. In addition there is some evidence that cigarette smoking may increase the risk of a pedo-cellular cancer.

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