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What are some of the damaging health effects of smoking?

When you smoke, a mixture of gases is released near your noses, eyes and throat. Your eyes might water and your nose might run. Your throat will likely get irritated.

Then tiny hairs, called cilia, will go to work to clean your lungs and bronchial tubes of foreign matter. Think of cilia as the body's street sweepers.

However, smoking can paralyze and even kill cilia so they can't go to work.

If you smoke, the cilia that you have not killed will get back to work. That explains why you may wake up coughing. Your cilia are back at it.

But then, when you light up, the cilia is paralyzed and the hacking stops.

A lot of what smokers inhale turns into tar. Besides its disgusting nature, tar kills healthy lung cells. A smoker with a pack-a-day habit ingests a full cup of tar each year into his or her lungs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.