There is strong evidence that suggests that people who smoke cigarettes on a regular basis for a long period of time are at an extremely high risk of developing larynx and lung cancer. Researchers are still trying to figure out exactly how it is that smoking causes these types of cancer, as it is not yet understood clearly.
Normal cells that experience damage are able to repair themselves on their own. Sometimes cells are completely removed and then are replaced by the body’s lymph system. This process can start to go wrong, however.
Sometimes new cells begin to grow into odd, unnatural shapes and as a result do not carry out their normal tasks properly. When this unnatural growth becomes a big enough problem that the body cannot handle it, it has officially become cancer.
It is known that cigarette smoke contains many carcinogenic substances.
Tar, for example, is present in cigarette smoke chiefly from the burning paper that holds the tobacco, about 10-14 mg per cigarette. It gradually builds up in the alveoli, the small sacs in the lung that make possible absorption of oxygen into the blood stream. It’s believed that their presence is a continual irritant to the cells. That irritation eventually leads to uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.
Nitrosamines are another compound and are also present in cigarettes. Hundreds of different studies administered with small mammals have proven that these compounds are also carcinogenic. Nitrosamines such as NNK, NNN, and NAT are all present in cigarette smoke in extremely small amounts, about 56.53 nanograms.
One nanogram is equal to one billionth of one gram. Even though that seems like an extremely insignificant amount of something, even these small amounts can cause problems. Like dogs noses that can detect scents from just a few molecules, some parts of the human body are extremely sensitive. Remember too that these small amounts add up over time and eventually can become serious.
Medical research has found no relation between smoking one or two cigarettes on a daily basis and the development of cancer. It is also true that very few smokers smoke so few cigarettes every day. The truth is that a twenty year smoker who takes in a pack of cigarettes every day has a two to four times higher risk of developing larynx or lung cancer than someone who does not smoke.