Smoker's Lung (Norm Barker)

Photograph by

Medical Group

About this image

We have all been taught that smoking causes lung cancer, but too few realize that cigarette smoking also responsible for other forms of cancer including cancers of the larynx (voice box), the oral cavity (mouth), esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach), and the urinary bladder. If that isn’t bad enough, cigarette smoking also causes emphysema, bronchitis, heart disease, and strokes, and sadly, smoking during pregnancy can cause sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Emphysema, pictured here, is a disease in which cigarette smoking destroys the alveoli (small air sacs) in the lung. This section of lung illustrates the destruction of lung tissue that is characteristic of emphysema. Note the areas where the light shines through the lung, as well as black spots representing carbon accumulation from years of smoking.