Cut Out Tobacco To Prevent Cancer
Tobacco: a Cancer Risk in Any Form
Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of cancer in the United States. The deadly effects of smoking have been well known for decades, and medical studies have shown that avoiding tobacco and cigarette smoke can help prevent both lung cancer and oral cancer.
It’s Not the Nicotine; It’s the Smoke
Nicotine itself, the addictive substance that creates the pleasurable sensation, is not the culprit, though. The smoke which delivers the nicotine actually causes the most harm. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals, many of which are recognized a Group A carcinogens – chemicals which scientists and medical professionals have found to be most likely to cause cancer. Common ingredients in every mass-produced brand of tobacco include:
The smoker isn’t the only one in danger. Emissions from burning cigarettes and the smoke exhaled after a puff contain all these chemicals, too, so even non-smokers who are exposed to this secondhand smoke have an increased risk of developing cancer.
Children of smokers are more likely to suffer from allergies, asthma, and other breathing problems. Even adults with compromised respiratory systems may quickly become very ill around secondhand smoke. While the odds of health issues rise the longer one is in such an environment, evidence has shown that some people to develop cancer and other problems even after a brief exposure to secondhand smoke.
Spit It Out!
Smoking isn’t the only way to deliver nicotine to the blood system. “Smokeless” forms, such as snuff and chewing tobacco, consist of flavored tobacco leaves which are tucked into the cheek and held in the mouth. While this form of tobacco presents no threat to others around the user, smokeless tobacco also contains many of the same carcinogens as cigarettes. The soft tissues of the mouth and throat absorb these chemicals along with the nicotine.
90 percent of oral cancer victims have used smokeless tobacco. The chemicals also cause surface damage to the gums and teeth, leading to recessed gums, bone loss, and lesions in the mouth and throat.
There is no safe tobacco. “Light” cigarettes have less nicotine, but still contain the same chemicals as the full-flavored brands. The best way to protect against tobacco-related health problems is to avoid tobacco altogether.