Search For A Cure
Research, Scientific Breakthroughs, & Caregiver Tips
How Does Tobacco Addiction Progress?
Tobacco damages the body in a wide variety of profound ways. Nicotine dependency often leads to a long-term (and often escalating) pattern of tobacco use that has a devastating effect on the user’s health.
The health impacts of smoking arise both from the stress placed on the body from tobacco’s chemical effects and from the toxins and fine particles introduced directly into the lungs, one of the most sensitive parts of the body.
Smokeless tobacco products don’t have the same effect on the lungs as cigarettes do, but they are far from harmless. Fatal illnesses caused by smokeless tobacco products are not uncommon.
Effects of Long-Term Tobacco Use
Some of the most common health impacts of smoking include:
- Heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Smoking as few as five cigarettes a day can increase the risk of these problems.
- Stroke. Damage to blood vessels increases the likelihood that blood flow to the brain may be disrupted.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which are many times more common in smokers, are progressive and often ultimately fatal.
- Cancer. Almost all cases of lung cancer are linked to smoking. Smoking increases risks of cancer elsewhere in the body, too, including the kidneys, blood, bladder, liver, cervix, pancreas, and colon.
- Fertility effects. Smoking can make it harder for a woman to become pregnant, and it is linked to low birth weight, stillbirth, premature delivery, and other problems.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tooth loss
- Cataracts and vision problems
- Chronic inflammation and immune-system deficiency
Health Impacts of Smokeless Tobacco
- Heart disease
- Cancer of the throat, mouth, cheek, gums, lips or tongue
- Mouth sores
- Low birth weight or stillbirth
- Tooth loss and dental problems
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