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How Does Smoking Affect the Skeletal System?

Updated July 20, 2017

It is apparent that smoking can cause many complications to our health. The warning on the side of a cigarette pack says that smoking may cause lung cancer. What the warning doesn't tell you is that the toxic chemicals in cigarettes travel to our bones when we smoke. Certain chemicals in cigarettes travel to our bones directly and can cause immediate complications. These substances are nicotine, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. This chemicals cause start breaking down the skeletal system from the very first time one begins smoking. The chemicals travel from our lungs to our blood stream and start to break down our bodies and cause immediate complications. Smoking will immediately affect our bones by making them weaker. This is terrible for our bodies because if a smoker breaks a bone or is in need of surgery, they will have a much harder time healing than a non-smoker.

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When someone has been a smoker for a long period of time, they will experience some affects on their skeletal system that didn't occur earlier in life. A person who has been smoking for most of their life may develop a disease called Osteoporosis, a condition marked by weak and brittle bones. When a smoker reaches an older age, it will become extremely easy for them to break a bone if they develop Osteoporosis from smoking. Smoking causes our skeletal system to lose most of its calcium, which is important for bone strength. This loss of calcium plays a significant role in the development of Osteoporosis.

Quitting smoking will benefit a person in a number of ways. One's body will never fully recover from the damage that occurred while smoking, but it can be repaired a great deal. Quitting smoking can also improve our skeletal system. Our bones have a natural way of healing, and by quitting you are allowing your skeletal system to begin that process by ridding itself of the toxic chemicals and building up more calcium, making the bones stronger.

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About the Author

Amy Manley is a college senior working towards a degree in English with a minor in literature. She is currently finishing up her last semester, will earn her bachelor's degree and then continue on toward a master's. Manley has been writing for 12 years. She is the editor in chief of her student newspaper, "Off The Vine."

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