Cigarettes contain many hazardous substances that damage the lung when inhaled, including tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, and cyanide. Long-term exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke and/or repeated respiratory infections also can increase a person's risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
Review Date 10/1/2019
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.