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Risks of tobacco

Secondhand smoke - risks; Cigarette smoking - risks; Smoking and smokeless tobacco - risks; Nicotine - risks

Knowing the serious health risks of using tobacco may help motivate you to quit. Using tobacco over a long time can increase your risk of many health problems.

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Tobacco and vascular disease
Tobacco and chemicals
Tobacco and cancer
Tobacco health risks
Secondhand smoke and lung cancer
Respiratory cilia

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Tobacco is a plant. Its leaves are smoked, chewed, or sniffed for a variety of effects.

HEALTH RISKS OF SMOKING OR USING SMOKELESS TOBACCO

There are many health risks from smoking and using tobacco. The more serious ones are listed below.

Heart and blood vessel problems:

Other health risks or problems:

Smokers who switch to smokeless tobacco instead of quitting tobacco still have health risks:

HEALTH RISKS OF SECONDHAND SMOKE

Those who are often around the smoke of others (secondhand smoke) have a higher risk of:

Infants and children who are often exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk of:

Like any addiction, quitting tobacco is difficult, especially if you are doing it alone.

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References

Benowitz NL, Brunetta PG. Smoking hazards and cessation. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 46.

Rakel RE, Houston T. Nicotine addiction. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 49.

Siu AL; US Preventive Services Task Force. Behavioral and pharmacotherapy interventions for tobacco smoking cessation in adults, including pregnant women: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2015;163(8):622-634. PMID: 26389730 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26389730.

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Review Date: 6/28/2018  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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