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Diseases Caused by Tobacco

Diseases Caused by Tobacco

Chewing or smoking tobacco may lead to a myriad of health hazards. This article helps you get a better understanding of what these hazards are.
Reshma Jirage
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 harmful chemicals like nicotine, tar, formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide. And given its high content of nicotine, tobacco becomes addictive. Some people have the habit of chewing tobacco frequently, while most people practice cigarette smoking. Both the forms of tobacco use cause many dangerous health problems. In the United States, the use of tobacco accounts for one in five deaths from lung cancer, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases.
The Hazards of Tobacco
Heart Diseases
Tobacco smoke increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It consists of a high amount of carbon monoxide, which decreases the level of oxygen in the blood. Vital organs like the brain, heart and lungs are deprived of sufficient oxygen, which affects their functioning. People addicted to smoking are at a greater risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, aortic aneurysm, blood clots, hemorrhages and other cardiovascular diseases.
Tobacco smoking increases the levels of triglycerides and clotting factors and reduces the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the blood, leading to coronary heart diseases, stroke, cerebrovascular diseases and atherosclerotic peripheral vascular diseases.
Lung Cancer
It is the leading cause of lung cancer. Smoking accounts for about 80% cases of lung cancer. In addition, smoking also increases the risk of cancer of other body organs like mouth, esophagus, pancreas, stomach, kidneys, bladder and cervix.
Oral Ailments
Chewing tobacco increases the risk of oral health problems such as:
  • Periodontal disease
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Candidiasis
  • Oral lesions
  • Oral leukoplakia
  • Gingivitis
  • Brown staining
  • Sticky tar deposits on the teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth abrasion
  • Altered taste
  • Bad breath
  • Lip cancer
  • Sore throat
  • Burning sensation on the tongue and lips
Other Health Problems
» Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema
» Peptic ulcers
» Asthma
» Pneumonia
» Diabetes
» Cataracts
» Acute myeloid leukemia
» Chest infections
» Tuberculosis
» Due to smoking, the level of vitamin A in the body is reduced, which can lead to early aging.
Effects on Pregnancy
Using tobacco during pregnancy causes hazardous effects on the health of both, the pregnant woman and her baby. There is an increased risk of miscarriages as well as pregnancy-related complications like ectopic pregnancy, bleeding and premature birth. There is also a possibility of low birth weight baby or stillbirth.
Passive Effects of Tobacco
People, especially infants and children, who come in contact with the smokers may also suffer from the passive effects of smoking. They may become more susceptible to respiratory problems like asthma and various infections of the throat and nose. There is also a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Ways to Quit Tobacco Use
✔ Hypnosis
✔ Acupuncture
✔ Filters
✔ Low-level laser therapy (cold laser therapy)
✔ Smoking deterrents
✔ Electronic cigarettes
✔ Herbs and supplements
✔ Medicines such as varenicline, bupropion, etc.
The effects of chewing and smoking tobacco are life-threatening. In order to prevent the diseases, you should stay away from these unhealthy habits. It's never too late to quit smoking and stop tobacco use and a strong willpower will help you to do so. Always remember, there should be no compromise, when health is concerned. Respect your beautiful life.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.