I have a question about smoking. I saw a TV programme about how smoking damages cells in your body, among other things. How dangerous is smoking if you are young and healthy and exercise?
Smoking affects every part of your body and increases the risk of contracting many different diseases. Young people are affected more by smoking than adults regardless of whether they exercise or not. This is because your body is still growing and your brain has not finished developing.
Tobacco smoke contains a chemical called carbon monoxide, which replaces oxygen in the cells of your body. This means that smokers have less oxygen in their blood. Smoking makes you less fit and stops you developing in the same way as a non-smoker when you exercise.
The earlier you start smoking, the greater the risk of you becoming addicted. Cigarettes contain 4,000 different chemicals. Many of these chemicals are bad for the cells in your body. Exercising is good for your health, but not smoking is an even better way of reducing the risk of developing serious diseases.