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Tobacco Consumption – Risks, Side Effects, Cancer

Tobacco causes multiple serious and even terminal ailments to the body including Jaw Tumour. May 31st is marked as World “No Tobacco Day” by the World Health Organization. This day is used to create awareness about the ill effects of tobacco amongst the general population everywhere. 

Dr Vikram Pandit (MDS – Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon) of Pandit Clinic, Pune who has treated multiple cases of Jaw Tumour will be addressing the issues caused by tobacco use and the risk of oral cancer due to regular consumption of tobacco and products containing tobacco. 

What Is Tobacco?

Tobacco is a commonly given name to more than 70 species of plants which are made up of mainly stimulant alkaloid nicotine as well as harmala alkaloids. Both alkaloid nicotine and harmala alkaloids are very addictive and give the human brain an artificial high. 

Tobacco is found in cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs and is also available for direct chewing in the form of gutka and mishri. Unfortunately, there is a new addition to this list in the form of “e-cigarettes”.  The youth of today is addicted to e-cigarettes and it is popularly known as “vaping”. E-cigarettes create a similar vapor of harmful chemicals like a traditional cigarette and the user inhales toxic chemicals. 

Tobacco is a leading cause for different types of cancers and health hazard to vital organs like the lungs, mouth and liver. 

Although tobacco is very harmful and even leads to fatal diseases it is not completely banned in most countries around the world including India. Hence, it is important to create awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco through events such as the World No Tobacco Day. 

What Are The Six Different Types Of Tobacco?

The six different types of tobbaco products widely consumed in the world and extremely harmful for health are: 

  1. Bidis
  2. Cigarrettes
  3. Cigars
  4. Dip/Dissolvable Tobacco
  5. E-Cigarrette
  6. Hookah


What Are The Biggest Risks Of Consuming Tobacco?

Tobacco consumption is extremely harmful to health. Some of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke include Arsenic (used in rat poison), Carbon Monoxide (released in car exhaust fumes), Nicotine (used as an insecticide), Methanol (the main component in rocket fuel) and even Tar (material for paving roads). Imagine inhaling this smoke every day – you can now clearly see the magnitude of the damage smoking or chewing tobacco causes.  The World Health Organization has stated multiple times that deaths caused by tobacco consumption are the highest number of preventable deaths in the world!   The biggest risks of consuming tobacco: 
  • Tobacco is a leading cause of cancer in the: 
  1. Mouth
  2. Larynx (voice box)
  3. Pharynx (throat)
  4. Esophagus (swallowing tube)
  5. Lungs
  6. Kidney
  7. Cervix
  8. Liver
  9. Bladder
  10. Pancreas
  11. Stomach
  12. Colon/rectum
  13. Myeloid leukaemia

What Are The Biggest Side Effects Of Tobacco?

Apart from cancer which could end up being fatal, there are other side effects of tobacco too. 

  • Tobacco also causes Chronic bronchitis which is also commonly termed as “Smoker’s Cough”
  • Emphysema – this is a medical condition which deteriorates a persons ability to breathe over time. 
  • Damage to the heart and blood vessels. 
  • It also causes damage to the reproductive organs in both men and women. 
  • Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum diseases and tooth loss. 
  • Tobacco users have poor oral health and exhibit signs of bad breath and stained teeth. 
  • It causes loss to the vision by accelerating macular degeneration. 

Pandit Clinic, Pune strongly advises everyone to completely stop consumption of tobacco whether in the form of gutka, bidi or cigarettes

What Are The Biggest Advantages Of Quitting Tobacco Consumption?

Following are the advantages of giving up tobacco consumption: 

  • Long Healthy Life

Truly the biggest benefit of quitting tobacco consumption or smoking is living a long, healthy life. Tobacco consumption being extremely harmful shortens the lifespan by exposing the user to cancer and other health problems. When tobacco consumption is stopped then the body restores health and the quality of life increases over time.

  • Better Results With Medical Treatments

Tobacco consumption interferes with the body’s ability to heal and may slow down most medical treatments. When the user quits tobacco, the results of medical treatments of any kind have a better result. 

  • Lower Side Effects Of Cancer Treatment

If a tobacco user is undergoing radiation therapy or other cancer-related treatment and he/she quits the usage of tobacco then they have lower side-effects from the cancer treatment and increased chances of success in the treatment. 

  • Low Risk Of Cancers

Consumption of tobacco increases the risk of getting different types of cancer. But when you quit tobacco you immediately lower the risk of getting cancer. 

  • Lowers The Risk Of Infection

Quitting tobacco increases the immunity of the person, makes them healthier and accelerates their body’s response to germs, bacteria and viruses. Thus leading to lower chances of catching an infection. 

  • Improved Respiratory System

When tobacco is consumed in the form of cigarettes, cigars, pipe or hookah it has a terrible impact on the user’s respiratory system. It severely damages the lungs, the heart and the blood vessels. Stopping tobacco consumption improves the respiratory system, lets you breathe easier and better. It allows you to go for long runs, treks or even carry out your daily activities without gasping for breath. 

  • Happy Family

At the end of the day, the people you love the most want you to be healthy and happy. Did you know that passive smoking is actually very harmful to your loved ones? 

Passive smoking means inhaling the smoke generated by a smoker in close vicinity of non-smokers. Passive smoking has led to many cases of cancer even though the person has never been addicted to tobacco or tobacco products. Hence, when you smoke you also endanger the lives of your loved ones. 

When you quit tobacco and become a more energetic, positive person, free from serious medical risks your family will be the happiest! And you can pat yourself on the back for keeping them safe from passive smoke too. 

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Dr. Vikram Pandit

Dr Vikram is a well trained Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. He completed his international fellowship in Craniofacial Surgery from Taiwan. His areas of interest include Oral surgeries, management of wisdom teeth, maxillofacial trauma, corrective jaw surgery, cleft lip and cleft palate. He has also trained in surgeries for Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring.