Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is costly to your health because nicotine is highly addictive. The need to smoke (or chew) speeds up the progress of cancers, heart disease, stroke, lung infections, and others. The nicotine found in cigarettes and in smokeless tobacco is strong and an addictive drug. Once addicted, it becomes difficult to quit, but quitting is still possible. Smoking makes it harder for your body to fight infections and to heal. Smoking while pregnant greatly increases the chance of complications.
The use of tobacco products is not only habit-forming but is directly related to several problems in the mouth and diseases. They include:
- Bad breath
- Black hairy tongue
- Cancers of the cheek, throat, lip, palate, and tongue
- Brown, stained teeth
- Gum (periodontal) disease, which can lead to tooth loss
- Excessive wear to the tooth surface
- Receding gums
- Dry mouth
- Lack of taste
Some of the harmful ingredients found in tobacco are:
- Dead insects
Did you Know?
At least 19 different types of cancer-causing materials are found in tobacco products.
Oral cancer is serious and can spread to other parts of the neck and body.
Oral cancer is dangerous; only half those with this cancer will be alive in five years.
Smokeless tobacco should not be used as alternative to smoking cigarettes as it can be just as or even more dangerous.
The risk of developing lung cancer is 10 times greater for tobacco smokers than for non-smokers.
Breathing in second-hand smoke puts you at risk as if you were the one smoking.
Once you stop using tobacco products
Within 20 minutes, your blood pressure, pulse rate, and skin temperature will begin to return to normal.
Within eight hours, high levels of carbon monoxide in your blood will return to normal.
Within a few weeks, your blood flow will improve, and your sense of taste and smell will be better. You will also have an improved immune system and more energy.
It is never too late to quit tobacco!
Talk to your dental professional or physician
Connect with the Illinois Tobacco Quitline at (866) 784-8937 ( QUIT-YES)
Call the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345
Call the American Lung Association of Illinois at (800) LUNG-USA ( 586-4872)