Tobacco is a plant. Its leaves are smoked, chewed, or sniffed for a variety of effects.
HEALTH RISKS OF SMOKING OR SMOKELESS TOBACCO
There are many more reasons to quit using tobacco. Knowing the serious health risks may help motivate you to quit. When used over a long period, tobacco and related chemicals such as tar and nicotine can increase your risk of many health problems.
Smokers who switch to smokeless tobacco instead of quitting tobacco completely still have a number of health risks:
HEALTH RISKS OF SECONDHAND SMOKE
Those who are regularly around the smoke of others (secondhand smoke) have a higher risk of:
Infants and children who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk of:
Like any addiction, quitting tobacco is difficult, especially if you are acting alone. There are a lot of ways to quit smoking and many resources to help you. See: Smoking - tips on how to quit
Secondhand smoke - risks; Cigarette smoking - risks; Smoking and smokeless tobacco - risks; Risks of tobacco
Boffetta P, Hecht S, Gray N, Gupta P, Straif K. Smokeless tobacco and cancer. Lancet Oncol. 2008;9:667-675.
Parkes GT, Greenhalgh T, Griffin M, Dent R. Effect on smoking quit rate of telling patients their lung age: the Step 2 quit randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2008:336:598-600.
Boffetta P, Straif K. Use of smokeless tobacco and risk of myocardial infarction and stroke: systematic review with meta-analysis. BMJ. 2009;339:b3060. doi: 10.1136/bmj.b3060.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Counseling and interventions to prevent tobacco use and tobacco-caused disease in adults and pregnant women. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150:551-555.
George TP. Nicotine and tobacco. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds.Cecil Medicine. 24th ed.Philadelphia,PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 31.
Updated by: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine.
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