Health Issues related to Tobacco Products

drkmh Health Issues related to Tobacco Products


Tobacco products can lead to constriction of the blood vessels in the brain or their rupture leading to a stroke

Smoking causes cancer. It is right here on the cigarette box with a graphic image of someone who has suffered due to the habit. Despite this attempt to dissuade people from tobacco smoking, cigarette sales continue to soar as consumers continue to ignore the warning. Another interesting fact is cigarettes are not the only tobacco products available in the market and lung cancer is not the only disease it causes.



  • – Cigarettes, Bidis and Cigars
  • – Hookah/ Shisha
  • – Chewing Tobacco
  • – Snuff



While tobacco products contain a number of chemicals that are harmful to the body, there are three main components that play an especially significant role in the deterioration of the user’s health. These components are NICOTINE, TAR and CARBONMONOXIDE. Carbon Monoxide is not an ingredient, but it is formed when Tobacco burns and when inhaled it affects breathing.


Nicotine is the addictive component of Tobacco. This means that nicotine is what makes the individual smoke more and more. It travels to the brain and produces a favourable psycho-active response that keeps you coming for more. Over time the body develops tolerance to this chemical, which means to have the same pleasurable effect, the person will need more nicotine intake. Thereby setting off a vicious circle of tobacco addiction.


Tar is yet another toxic residue formed from the burning of tobacco. It contains benzo(a)pyrene which is considered one of the deadliest carcinogens known to man. It paralyses the cilia in the lungs and causes lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and even lung cancer.



  • Cancer:
    • – Excessive use of tobacco products can cause cancer, and this does not only mean Lung Cancer.
    • – Common cancers associated with tobacco addiction: cancers of the respiratory tract, lungs, nasal cavity, upper gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, kidney, liver, urinary bladder, oral cavity, cervix
    • – Cancer of the oral cavity are primarily caused by use of smokeless tobacco products such as chewing tobacco and snuff
  • Cardiovascular disease
    • – Tobacco products can lead to constriction of the blood vessels in the brain or their rupture leading to a stroke
    • – Tobacco usage can lead to cardiac arrest by affecting the blood flow in the coronary arteries – decreasing blood supply and leading to death of heart muscles which is called coronary heart disease.
    • – Tobacco smoking by people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol increases their risk for heart disease.
  • Respiratory Diseases
    • – Smoking increases one’s risk for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma and Tuberculosis.
  • Harmful effects Smoking
    • – Reduced fertility and Erectile Dysfunction
    • – Dental disease and Gum infection
    • – Kidney Damage
    • – Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • – Inflammatory Bowel Disease



Passive Smoking or Second-Hand smoking is the inhalation of cigarette smoke by non-smokers. Persistent exposure to cigarette smoke can eventually prove just as harmful as smoking itself. Smoking indoors and in small, closed spaces can cause health issues amongst those who do not smoke, while smoking outdoors is harmful for the environment. Hence there is no doubt in the fact that smoking has a negative impact on the smoker, those around him and his immediate environment.




Quitting a habit such as smoking, or tobacco chewing is definitely the best decision one can make. However, it is easier said than done. For many it is a slow and painful process. While some might be able to deal with nicotine withdrawal on their own, others might need professional help. Hence it is important to discuss with a doctor about the best way to ween off from the habit with minimal physiological and emotional trouble. Eventually, it will all be worth it.


Dr.PRIYA B - CONSULTANT - GENERAL PHYSICIAN at Dr.Kamakshi Memorial Hospitals
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