Harmful effects of tobacco

Nicotiana tabacum, the plant from which tobacco is made.


When you consume tobacco in any form then you don't only consume nicotine but you also consume many other harmful chemicals which lead to more damage to your health. 

For a better understanding of the harmful effects of tobacco, it's important to understand the components used in tobacco and the chemicals which are most harmful to your health. 

Tobacco can be consumed in two ways

Smoked tobacco products examples:

  • Cigarettes
  • Hookah
  • Bidis etc.

Smokeless tobacco products examples:

  • Chewing tobacco
  • Snuff
  • Snus etc.

The above tobacco products contain different types of harmful chemicals leading to many harmful health issues and fatal diseases. The dangerous components of these tobacco products are mentioned below 

Some dangerous components of smoked tobacco products 

Poison gases: Ammonia, Toluene, Butane, Carbon monoxide, Hydrogen Cyanide. 

Toxic metals: Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Lead. 

Cancer-causing chemicals: Polonium-210, Formaldehyde, Benzene, Vinyl Chloride. 

Second-hand smoking or passive smoking will also lead to entering of these harmful chemicals into your body. So, it's important to stay away from smoking places or the people who smoke or consume smoked tobacco products. 

Some dangerous components of smokeless tobacco products 




Polonium-210 and 

harmful chemicals like tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs)

Sometimes, the higher amounts of tobacco-specific nitrosamines(TSNAs) are mainly used in smokeless tobacco products which are linked to causing many cancer diseases. The manufacturers of these products may also use other sweeteners to add some taste. 

Due to the mixture of many harmful chemicals in tobacco products, it results in a very nasty taste and that's why people spit these smokeless tobacco products. 

Harmful effects of consuming tobacco

The most harmful effect of consuming tobacco is it causes addiction because of the nicotine present in it. The nicotine makes you feel good for a short period of time and when the nicotine level drops, you start to consume more tobacco to get same good feeling which will lead to more problems and health issues. 

Consuming tobacco through smoke or smokeless products can lead to many health problems and other harmful effects which are mentioned below:-

  • Increase the risk of heart attack 
  • Leads to high cholesterol
  • Persistent cough
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Loss of taste
  • Yellow teeth
  • Increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, nose, tongue, lips, and even throat
  • Increases the risk of cataract 
  • Increases the visible signs of aging
  • Bad breath
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth loss
  • Colds and chest infections
  • Emphysema
  • Lung cancer
  • Increase the risk of stroke
  • Submucosal fibrosis
  • Leukoplakia 
  • Sinus cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Esophagus cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Ureteral cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Acute myeloid Leukemia
  • Weakens immune system 
  • Bone weakening or osteoporosis
  • The unpleasant smell of hair

Consuming tobacco also affects the reproductive health of both males and females in many ways which are mentioned below. 

For males who consume tobacco can lead to 

  • Lowered sperm count
  • Low sperm quality
  • Erectile dysfunction 

For females who consume tobacco can lead to 

  • Cervical Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer 
  • Damage to eggs
  • Loss of the eggs 
  • Have much lower pregnancy rates

Even passive smoking of tobacco or second-hand smoking will also lead to health issues which are mentioned above. 

Harmful effects of consuming tobacco during pregnancy

  • Chances of abortion increases 
  • Sudden infant death syndrome
  • Ectopic  pregnancy 
  • Increased risk of miscarriages 
  • Increase in the chances of preterm delivery 
  • Increase in the chances of stillbirth
  • The infant may get attention deficit disorder
  • The infant may get the congenital disorder
  • Low birth weight babies 
  • Both mother's and infant's bones can get weaken

Even from passive smoking tobacco, you may get above harmful effects of consuming tobacco during pregnancy. So, it's important to stay away from the person who is smoking or consuming tobacco and try to avoid tobacco as much as possible 

Stats and facts of tobacco 

Every year, more than eight million people get killed because of tobacco. 

Seven million people die due to direct use of tobacco and more than one million die to exposing themselves to secondhand smoke or passive smoke. 

That's why it's important to quit tobacco before it causes serious health issues in your body.

Younger people are much likely to get addicted to tobacco due to less knowledge or awareness of tobacco.

Tips for getting rid of addiction to tobacco 

The best tip is to consult your doctor or a psychiatrist or a good clinical psychologist. 

Sometimes, your willpower may help you to get rid of your addiction, but getting rid of any addiction is not so easy for many people because quitting tobacco can lead to nicotine withdrawal resulting in anxiety and depression which are temporary. 

People are addicted to tobacco due to many reasons like some addicts try to escape the present or they are very much stressed in their life, some addicts may not have good social connections in their life, etc. So, it's important to find the core part of your addiction and get it solved.

That's why it's very much important to get medical help to help you to get rid of your addiction to tobacco. There are mainly two approaches of medical assistance or help which are through counseling and with the help of some medicines. 

Another thing to remember is that not to get scared or be anxious after reading the harmful effects of tobacco. Stay calm, stay strong, and wisely face your problem of addiction to tobacco. 

Fortunately, successfully getting rid of an addiction or consuming tobacco will lead to the reduction in the harmful effects of tobacco and even many other risk factors due to tobacco is essentially the same as that of non-tobacco consumers.


        If you are consuming tobacco in any form then just remember that you are consuming highly addictive poison and it doesn't matter in how much quantity you consume tobacco. 

        Even though you consume tobacco in smaller amounts then still it will lead to many health issues. So, it's important to get rid of tobacco as soon as possible. 


Siddharth is an amazing web content writer in health, lifestyle and fitness.

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