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The Death of a Smoker

Updated on May 5, 2018
Anita Hasch profile image

I live on a homestead in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Writing and reading are my passion.

Source

Know the Dangers of Smoking

Most habitual smokers know the dangers of smoking. This young man was a compulsive smoker he smoked twenty cigarettes daily for a period of ten years or longer. With a spasm of coughing, the 40 year old executive fell face down in the hotels foyer, in front of horrified witnesses. He was dead on arrival at the hospital.

Within an hour the young executive with a bright future had become a body with a tag on his toe. For his young wife and two children, life would never be the same again. But after the autopsy this family man left a message to those that want to listen.

Come into the autopsy room. View the black lungs sliced open on a cutting board, the brain in a jar of Formalin, these are shocking postmortem exhibits of an appalling indifference to a deadly serious health problem.

Did cigarettes cause this man’s death?

  • There are three ways that cigarette smoking can be a direct cause of sudden death.
  • Nicotine is a very powerful drug which releases adrenalin the hormone that is stimulated by sudden fear or excitement.
  • The heartbeat increases and blood pressure rises as certain arteries contract to channel more blood to those organs and muscles needed for greater effort.
  • The impact of this nicotine reaction has been known to trigger an unsound heart into a convulsion of uncontrolled muscle contractions known as ventricular fibrillation or an acute spasm of the coronary arteries, and subsequent cardiac arrest.
  • If there were evidence here of morbid discoloration and decay, he says. This would be a sure sign of death of heart muscle tissue from severe oxygen insufficiency caused by the blockage of a coronary artery.
  • This man’s heart shows some evidence of previous damage. It has a scar and a clot, indicating that he had a mild heart attack at some point in the past, though not enough to have killed him.
  • The heart in addition is slightly enlarged and the muscle fibers are flabby.
  • The second way in which cigarette smoking may cause sudden death involves the blood vessels, specifically the arteries of the heart and the main arteries leading to the brain.
  • The doctor opens a section of coronary artery and shows the evidence of atherosclerosis.’
  • He explains that in atherosclerosis artery walls become clogged with fatty deposits, causing a reduction of blood flow and so decreasing oxygen supply to the tissues.
  • If a main coronary artery becomes totally blocked, death is usually abrupt. Such blockage may be caused by a thrombus.
  • There is considerable evidence, the Doctor says, that nicotine in cigarette smoke causes the body to release adrenalin, which in turn increases blood-platelet adhesiveness, hastening the blood-clotting process and the process of thrombus formation.
  • Meanwhile the continual jolt from nicotine drives the heart to perhaps 20 extra beats per minute in the heavy smoker. Straining the heart and pounding away at clogged blood vessels.
  • The danger of sudden death from a thrombus striking at the heart or the brain is increasingly acute.
  • In studies among men who died before the age of 45, thickening of the coronary arteries has been found to be common. And in smokers of twenty cigarettes or more daily, it is 10 to 15 times more frequent than in non-smokers.
  • The third way in which cigarette smoking may be a factor in sudden death involves a vascular condition called an aneurysm. This is a thinning, stretching and bulging of a weak section of arterial wall.
  • ‘There are two primary sites of fatal aneurysmal hemorrhage,’ says the Doctor. ‘One is the aorta, the main artery from the heart.
  • The other is a small circle of arteries at the base of the brain from which blood vessels radiate throughout the brain,’
  • This man died by a massive stroke. ‘The blood supply to the brain was completely cut off.
  • This clot broke off from the one we found earlier in the heart Could smoking be the actual cause of death?
  • In this case, yes, cigarette smoking can be considered a significant contributory factor.
  • Generalized atherosclerosis, destroyed capillaries in the lung, combined with the known impact of nicotine on the heart, arteries and blood-clotting, mechanism, are convincing evidence.


Source

Smoking the Major Cause of Heart Disease

  • Cigarette smoking is one of the major risk factors in heart diseases. Coronary thrombosis, angina pectoris, arterial disease and strokes are all significantly commoner in smokers.
  • Two out of five heavy smokers die before the age of 65.
  • Increasing cigarette consumption also reflects a rise in the incidence of lung cancer.
  • The lung cancer cases were clearly related to cigarette smoking for no cases were found among non-smokers.
  • Cigarette smoking is the most important cause of chronic respiratory disease and is considered to be a preventable health hazard.

© 2016 Anita Hasch

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    • Anita Hasch profile image
      Author

      Anita Hasch 15 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks for the comment Shil. Your friend was very young to have a heart attack, glad he survived it. But it is true, I know of so many friends and family that smoked, that died of lung cancer. Another friend keeps on smoking, yet sometimes she struggles to breath. Guess you need a lot of willpower to stop.

    • Shil1978 profile image

      Shil1978 15 months ago

      A much-needed hub. I had a friend who had a heart attack at the age of 29 and he was a chronic smoker who smoked all day long. Pretty sure that contributed to his heart attack at such a young age.

      Fortunately, he survived it and is doing fine, but hopefully, he'd never go back to smoking again.

      Thanks for sharing this. It's always nice to be reminded of the serious negative health repercussions of smoking and why we need to quit if we haven't already.

    • Anita Hasch profile image
      Author

      Anita Hasch 15 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thank you for your comment Martie. Yes, smoking kills.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 15 months ago from South Africa

      A very informative article about the negative effects of smoking.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 16 months ago from sunny Florida

      Anita...so hoping many are reading your article. I was a smoker until 1987 when my sister had a massive heart attack and was clinically dead for 17 minutes from smoking. On that day I quit cold turkey and never have picked up another...and by the way, neither has my sister.

      It is a horrid habit and so difficult to kick. I could not have quit any other way than I did...I tried...

      We all have to find our way to stop but stopping is imperative.

      Thank you for sharing this.

      Angels are headed your way this morning ps

    • Anita Hasch profile image
      Author

      Anita Hasch 17 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thank you for your comment.

    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind 17 months ago from USA

      Strange but really great anti-smoking hub. I like the way you approached this topic, great grabber intro.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 17 months ago from East Coast

      You have presented many good details that smokers choose to ignore. It is simply unsafe and unnatural to inhale smoke. Sadly, many smokers smoke to the detriment not only of themselves but to the detriment, of those around them as well.

    • Anita Hasch profile image
      Author

      Anita Hasch 17 months ago from Port Elizabeth

      Thanks for reading this hub Nadine. At least you had the willpower to stop smoking, not everybody has. Other people's smoking never worried me before until it claimed my husband and sister.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 17 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Wow this article with all the possible results due to smoking should be posted on bars and club houses. If I was told all the hazards of smoking I would never have started smoking at the age of 18... unbelievable. I stopped cold turkey at 28. Thank goodness I have never smoked since, but I was married for 33 years to a pipe smoker.

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