Emphysema is a progressive COPD. The alveoli become enlarged and damaged, trapping air in the over expanded alveoli preventing an adequate exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Emphysema is caused by smoking cigarettes, by inhaling contaminants from the environment, or by the lack of the alpha1-antitrypsin protein. The lung contains bacteria that release proteolytic enzymes that destroy alveoli. The alpha1-antitrypsin protein inhibits proteolytic enzymes and protects the alveoli.

Excess mucus as well as the residue from cigarette smoking and airborne pollutants find their way down the airways and plug the terminal bronchioles. The network of alveoli then loses their fiber and become inelastic and unable to spring back to size after expanding during inspiration. Alveoli enlarge as many of the alveolar walls are destroyed. Air becomes trapped in the overexpanded alveoli leading to inadequate gas exchange (O2 and CO2).

A Disquistion On The Evils Of Using Tobacco

A Disquistion On The Evils Of Using Tobacco

Among the evils which a vitiated appetite has fastened upon mankind, those that arise from the use of Tobacco hold a prominent place, and call loudly for reform. We pity the poor Chinese, who stupifies body and mind with opium, and the wretched Hindoo, who is under a similar slavery to his favorite plant, the Betel but we present the humiliating spectacle of an enlightened and christian nation, wasting annually more than twenty-five millions of dollars, and destroying the health and the lives of thousands, by a practice not at all less degrading than that of the Chinese or Hindoo.

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