The effect of nicotine on the lung following chronic tobacco use
Effects of nicotine in cigarette on the peak expiratory flow rate in human subjects was studied. Nicotine is of considerable medical significance because of its presence in tobacco. 50 human subjects were divided into 2 groups viz smokers and non smokers. The test group who are smokers consisted of subjects that had smoked cigarette for not less than 5 years at about 10 sticks or more per day. The control or non smokers consisted of subjects that had never smoked. The peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) was measured using the peak expiratory flow meter in all the subjects. Each subject had three measurements of the peak expiratory flow rate. The mean value was further calculated for each group i.e the test group (smoker) and control (non-smokers). The mean PEFR for smokers obtained in this study was 338.90 ± 5.00 litres/min whereas the mean for non-smokers was 418.20 ±4.00 litres/mins. At P £ 0.01, there was a significant difference between the mean PEFR value of the smokers and non-smokers. Smokers had significant reduction in the PEFR measured in this research. The reduced PEFR is an indication of air flow obstruction and may explain deterioration to emphysema seen in chronic chain smokers. Nicotine is known to produce an initial stimulant phase at autonomic ganglia and neuromuscular junction followed rapidly by neuromuscular blockade and receptor desensitization. The findings of this study are in concordance with the high rate of death due to emphysema in smokers and justify current measures aimed at discouraging cigarette smoking.
Keywords: Nicotine, Cigarette Smokers, Peak Expiratory Flowrate.
AJAZEB Vol. 6 2004: pp. 11-15
African Journal of Applied Zoology and Environmental Biology. ISSN: 111*9-023X