There is always a number of considerations if you are interested in learning to scuba dive. These range from knowing how to swim to be in good physical shape. There is also being in good health for example not having any lung or heart conditions but can you scuba dive if you smoke?
You can scuba dive if you smoke. As we all know that over time smoking damages your lungs. As a result, this may affect your breathing and your breathing efficiency. It is always worth visiting a doctor especially if you have been smoking for a good number of years or try to quit smoking.
In today’s post, we will go through in more detail can you scuba dive if you smoke, so let’s get started!
Read more on common questions asked by divers
Can You Scuba Dive If You Smoke?
Yes, you can scuba dive if you are a smoker but over time smoking may damage your lungs and breathing efficiency which in turn can reduce your time underwater and even cause breathing difficult while underwater. People who want to scuba dive need to think about their options.
Remember one of the important skills to develop when scuba diving is breathing so the problem with cigarettes or vaping products is that it limits your oxygen intake. The best way for someone who wants to scuba dive is to quit smoking or vaping altogether.
Primarily, if you are a chronic smoker it is not recommended that you try scuba diving but you should visit your doctor as they might be able to help.
The Concerns/Risks With Smoking And Scuba Diving
There are a number of risks for a scuba diver as a smoker. These are as follows.
- Smoking affects the lungs and breathing.
- There is a higher risk of a heart attack when diving.
- Increases the chances of pulmonary barotrauma and decompression illness.
Smoking Affects The Lungs And Breathing
Simply, smoking can damage your airways and the alveoli that are found in your lungs which can cause lung disease. Smoking is also a common cause of lung cancer.
To explain more specifically when someone smokes, they mainly inhale nicotine and other chemicals. This raises the carbon monoxide levels in the body, which can be dangerous.
What actually happens is the carbon monoxide will enter the lungs and start to attach itself to the red blood cells, which cannot be exhaled. Which reduce the lungs performance.
When someone that smokes enters the water, they may encounter some issues and even breathing difficulties. Breathing difficulties can increase the heart rate and increase your air consumption which can lead to more problems underwater.
There Is A Higher Risk Of A Heart Attack When Diving
Smoking also affects the heart that not only does it increase the heart rate but it tightens major arteries. This can cause an irregular heart rhythm so putting it all together makes your heart work harder along with causing blood pressure.
The job of the heart is to pump blood and oxygen around the body so if the heart is not performing correctly this will have an effect on your underwater.
Increases The Chances Of Pulmonary Barotrauma And Decompression Illness
One of the risks to scuba diving is decompression sickness and pulmonary barotrauma. With decompression sickness, there is a greater risk because of carbon monoxide toxicity built up in the body because of smoking.
The air-filled dilations that develop due to emphysema can lead to barotrauma (burst lung) and arterial gas embolism. These conditions are very dangerous and will become worse if you hold your breath underwater. It is recommended to have frequent checkups by your doctor to access the working of your respiratory system.
What To Do If A Smoker Wants To Scuba Dive?
If a smoker really wants to go scuba diving, then quitting is the best option. Quitting is easier said than done but it is worth the effort in the long run. Even just for the long-term health gains.
If you cannot quit smoking for whatever reason, you should consider visiting a doctor before going scuba diving until you can get to some sort of solution.
Is It Okay To Scuba Dive High On Marijuana?
No, scuba diving is a serious activity that requires you and your dive buddy to be fully aware. There can be very dangerous consequences if the scuba divers are not fully aware.
Remember that with scuba diving there is a lot of effort put into teaching divers safety. Anything can go wrong underwater and you don’t want to be too relaxed or ascend too fast because you were daydreaming.
Finally, you can scuba dive if you smoke. As we all know that over time smoking damages your lungs. As a result, this may affect your breathing and your breathing efficiency. It is always worth visiting a doctor especially if you have been smoking for a good number of years or try to quit smoking.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on can you scuba dive if you smoke has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.