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## Can Smokers Go Scuba Diving?

Yes, smokers can go scuba diving, but it is important to be aware of the risks and to take precautions.

### Risks of Scuba Diving for Smokers

Smoking cigarettes damages the lungs and reduces their ability to function properly. This can lead to a number of problems for scuba divers, including:

* **Reduced lung capacity:** Smoking damages the alveoli, which are the small air sacs in the lungs that allow oxygen to pass into the bloodstream. This can reduce lung capacity and make it more difficult to breathe underwater.
* **Increased risk of decompression sickness:** Decompression sickness is a serious condition that can occur when a diver ascends too quickly from a dive. It is caused by nitrogen bubbles forming in the bloodstream and can lead to pain, paralysis, and even death. Smokers are at an increased risk of decompression sickness because they have reduced lung capacity and their lungs are less able to remove nitrogen from the bloodstream.
* **Increased risk of oxygen toxicity:** Oxygen toxicity is a condition that can occur when a diver breathes pure oxygen at high pressures. It can lead to seizures, convulsions, and even death. Smokers are at an increased risk of oxygen toxicity because they have reduced lung capacity and their lungs are less able to remove oxygen from the bloodstream.

### Precautions for Smokers Who Scuba Dive

If you are a smoker and you want to go scuba diving, it is important to take the following precautions:

* **Quit smoking before you dive:** The best way to reduce the risks of scuba diving for smokers is to quit smoking before you dive. This will give your lungs time to heal and will reduce your risk of developing problems underwater.
* **If you can’t quit smoking, smoke less:** If you can’t quit smoking, try to smoke less before you dive. This will help to reduce the amount of damage to your lungs and will reduce your risk of problems underwater.
* **Get a medical exam:** Before you go scuba diving, it is important to get a medical exam to make sure you are healthy enough to dive. Your doctor will be able to assess your lung function and will let you know if you are at risk for any problems underwater.
* **Follow the diving rules:** When you are scuba diving, it is important to follow the diving rules. These rules are designed to keep you safe and will help to reduce your risk of problems underwater.

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### Benefits of Scuba Diving for Smokers

Despite the risks, there are also some benefits to scuba diving for smokers. These benefits include:

* **Improved lung function:** Scuba diving can help to improve lung function by strengthening the muscles in the lungs and increasing the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the bloodstream.
* **Reduced stress:** Scuba diving can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity. It can help to reduce stress and improve mood.
* **Increased social interaction:** Scuba diving is a social activity that can help you to meet new people and make friends.

### Conclusion

Smokers can go scuba diving, but it is important to be aware of the risks and to take precautions. By following the tips in this article, you can reduce your risk of problems underwater and enjoy the benefits of scuba diving.

### Additional Information

* [The Dangers of Smoking for Scuba Divers](https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/health/smoker/)
* [Scuba Diving and Smoking](https://www.scubaboard.com/community/threads/scuba-diving-and-smoking.511070/)

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