You probably don’t need us to tell you that cigarettes produce some pretty nasty chemicals. Smokers’ homes are coated in a layer of tar and thirdhand smoke, little particles that cling to any surface. Patrons walking by smokers are being exposed to toxins in secondhand smoke, which is considerably more dangerous than what is being inhaled. Obviously, the smoke gets in your eyes, and you get a nasty taste in your mouth after exposure, so on that note, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, a clear gas that is highly flammable and incredibly poisonous. Let’s take a closer look at how smoking can trigger a severe sickness called carbon monoxide poisoning.

Health Effects of Carbon Monoxide

Keep in mind that the normal level of exposure to carbon monoxide results in a concentration of no greater than 1% in the bloodstream, so imagine how severe these levels can get for smokers. Here is a closer look at the concentration of carbon monoxide in different types of smokers’ systems:

  • Pack a day: 3% to 6% COHb
  • Two packs a day: 6% to 10% COHb
  • Three packs a day: Nearly 20% COHb

Now, to make things trickier, here is a closer look at some of the health effects of carbon monoxide, based on the concentration of this chemical in the bloodstream:

  • 1-5% COHb: Major rise in heart rate
  • 2-15% COHb: Lower tolerance for forms of exercise
  • 15-20% COHb: Onset of headache and visual distortions

As a result of this lack of oxygen in the cells, the body will start to weaken due to the cardiovascular system needing to work double-time in order to power the smoker.

The Threat of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

So can smoking eventually trigger cases of carbon monoxide poisoning? As you may have expected, the answer to this question as a big “yes.” However, smokers must consume a large quantity of this smoke in order to suffer from this health problem. In the event of COHb poisoning, victims will suffer from unbearable headaches and may pass out due to lack of oxygen.

Seeking Treatment for Cigarette Use     

Remember that addiction can be triggered by one shot of alcohol or a single puff of a cigarette, but the true danger of this sickness is that you cannot fully determine how much you have to consume before your mind forms an attachment. Social smoking is just as dangerous as chronic smoking, on many levels, but you do not have to smoke to have a good time. Remember, drugs cannot determine if you have fun and do not have control over your life.

If you are suffering from a severe case of drug abuse or addiction, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of alcohol withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.

If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.


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