Cigarettes, cakes and treats harm your body in seconds, study reveals

Published: Monday, 16th January 2012

A study has found that cigarettes, cakes and other treats have an effect on your body within a mere matter of minutes. The study by Australian scientists analysed the time it took for the effect of eating sugary food, salty meals, drinking coffee and alcohol and smoking cigarettes to impact upon the body. The study found that within half an hour of drinking coffee, bloodflow to the skin and organs decreased, and a meal high in saturated fats can increase the risk of blood clotting within an hour. Sugary foods have an effect on the levels of bacteria in the mouth in a very short space of time, and can result in a peak in blood glucose within two minutes of consumption.

The thing which was found to have the fastest effect on the body however was smoking cigarettes. Inhaled cigarette smoke reaches the lungs within a matter of seconds, causing blood pressure to rise and the heart to work harder.

One of the chemicals within cigarettes that was found to be particularly fast acting is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide effectively reduces the amount of oxygen the red blood cells can carry around the body, meaning less oxygen is delivered to your body’s organs after smoking a cigarette. The body’s oxygen levels only return to normal after 6 hours of smoking. Carbon monoxide is found at a level 600 times more concentrated in cigarette smoke than is considered a ‘safe’ concentration in the air.

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