Smoking destroys the cilia found on many cells of the respiratory epithelium. Formulate a hypothesis as to why this contributes to a "smoker"s cough. " Mucus is produced by respiratory epithelium in response to irritation from smoking. The cilia found on many cells of the respiratory system beat upward, thereby moving mucus produced by the respiratory epithelium up ot the level of the esophagus, where it can be swallowed and eliminated. Destruction of the cilia prevents the elimination of this mucus; therefore, coughing is the only mechanism by which the mucus can be removed. Alveoli becomes bigger causing surfactant to be a thinner surface and harder to make bubbles so restricting gas exchange. Assess why cardiac muscle ischemia (inadequate blood supply) is more life-threatening than skeletal muscle ischemia. Ischemia occurs when the blood flow to an organ has been reduced, preventing it from receiving oxygen. While ischemia can damage organs, skeletal muscle ischemia is not as life-threatening as cardiac muscle ischemia.