Short of breath
Smoking causes inflammation in the small airways and tissues of your lungs. Inflammation
can make your chest feel tight, cause you to wheeze, or feel short of breath.
Smoking destroys the tiny air sacs, or alveoli, in the lungs that allow oxygen exchange.
When you smoke, you are damaging some of those air sacs. Alveoli don’t grow back,
so when you destroy them you have permanently destroyed part of your lungs.
Teen lungs are still growing; smoking when you’re a teen can stunt the growth of
your lungs. Teens who smoke have smaller, weaker lungs than teens that don’t smoke.
Your airways are lined with tiny brush like hairs, called cilia. As air is inhaled,
the cilia move back and forth, sweeping out mucus and dirt so your lungs stay clear.
Smoking temporarily paralyzes and even kills cilia.