Tobacco, a product that can be chewed, sniffed, or smoked, can be addictive. In this post, we will specifically cover the risks of smoking tobacco. Tobacco can be smoked through cigars, cigarettes, hookah, pipes, bidis, or kreteks. Cigarettes are the most common form of tobacco that people smoke.
So, how is tobacco harmful? Let’s talk about cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes can cause “cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic health conditions” . It is extremely dangerous long-term, as it can harm almost every organ in your body, and it is even more dangerous for women during pregnancy (as it can cause “premature birth (being born too early) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)” . Even if you don’t smoke, secondhand smoke can cause “stroke, lung cancer, and heart disease in adults” .
Tobacco can be found in many places, but there are some areas where it seems to be more popular. For example, adults in rural areas are more likely to smoke, and that means that children are also at risk of starting. Addiction can be “more severe [in certain communities] and [make] smoking harder to quit” . This can also be said for states where tobacco is grown and for low-income communities.
Intervention can be achieved with the 5 A’s, which are “Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange” . The first step is to ask and identify how much tobacco the patient uses on a daily basis. The second step is to advise and urge the patient to quit, followed by assessing what will make the patient quit. Assisting the patient as they attempt to quit, and arranging a follow-up schedule to keep them on track. Of course, this is for those who are already smoking, but the best prevention method will always be abstinence. Staying away from these products will prevent you from developing any of the health risks listed above, and you can live a happier and healthier lifestyle.
1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2022, March). Tobacco Use. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/tobacco.htm
2. American Lung Association (2022, January). Top 10 Populations Disproportionately Affected by Cigarette Smoking and Tobacco Use. ALA. https://www.lung.org/research/sotc/by-the-numbers/top-10-populations-affected
3. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2012, July). Five Major Steps to Intervention. AHRQ. https://www.ahrq.gov/prevention/guidelines/tobacco/5steps.html
Author: Kayjah Taylor
Editor: Chadwick Huynh
Health scientist: Melissa Del Rio