Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Metabolic process & Smoking

The damage smoking does to a smoker's lungs is common knowledge. There is less known to the public about the physical effects nicotine has on the rest of the body's functions, but they are equally devastating. One area nicotine of any type whether smoked or ingested has a great impact on the body is the metabolic function.


Nicotine immediately triggers a release of dopamine giving the body a feeling of energy and pleasure. When nicotine levels drop, tension rises thereby triggering the metabolism to work harder.

Oxygen Levels

Smoking depletes the oxygen level in the blood stream. The body feels deprived because of the reduced oxygen levels and fights to raise the levels of oxygen creating a need for more energy and raising the metabolism.

Heart Rate

Because smoking decreases the oxygen levels in the smoker's blood stream, it makes the heart beat faster. In order to get enough oxygen to the various organs of the body, the heart beats 10 to 20 times as hard. Doing this also demands more energy from the user so the body's metabolic rate increases.


Nicotine levels drop in the blood stream after just 30 minutes. This creates anxiety and tension, which is why smokers feel pleasure when they have the next cigarette. Every minute between cigarettes increases the level of anxiety and the body goes into a "flight or fight" mode. To combat the perceived danger around it, more adrenaline is released which requires a boost of energy to feed it.

Blood Sugar

Nicotine triggers a release of stored fat and sugar giving the body more fuel to burn. The need to digest the supply of fuel requires the metabolism to burn at a higher rate when smoking.


It can take over a year for the body's metabolism to recover after years of smoking. People who quit find it difficult to lose weight, and often even gain extra pounds in spite of attempting to diet. Increasing exercise levels helps increase metabolism.

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