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UNDERSTANDING HEALTH RISKS


Tobacco contains nicotine, which is very addictive and affects the brain, heart rate, and blood pressure. Tere is no safe way to use tobacco. Pipes, cigars, hookahs, dissolvable tobacco, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and cigarettes all have the risk of addiction and may cause serious illness.


Cigarettes and Cigars


Most people know smoking is unhealthy, but not as many people know just how dangerous it can be. Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States. More than 435,000 Americans die each year from smoking.


Many people think cigar smoking is safer than cigarettes. In truth, a large cigar may have as much tobacco as a whole pack of cigarettes, and small cigars may have as much tobacco as three to 10 cigarettes. Smoking and being around secondhand smoke increase the risk of getting cancers. Smoking also increases the risk of heart disease, emphysema, stroke, ulcers, cataracts, and vision loss.


Pipes and Hookahs


Some people believe pipes and hookahs are safer than cigarettes. In fact, hookah and pipe tobacco contain many toxins. Pipe smokers are 60 percent more likely to lose their teeth than nonsmokers.


Many hookah bars provide herbal alternatives without tobacco for smoking. Tis eliminates nicotine, but still carries health hazards from inhaling burning chemicals.


Smokeless and Dissolvable Tobacco Smokeless tobacco, also called chewing or spit tobacco, snuff, or snus, is tobacco put between the cheek or lip and the gums and held there or chewed instead of smoked. Dry snuff is sniffed through the nose. Dissolvable tobacco products often look like candy. Some smokeless tobacco products increase a person’s risk of getting cancers of the mouth, throat, tongue, pancreas, and esophagus. Smokeless tobacco products may also scratch teeth, wear away tooth enamel, cause mouth sores, and damage the gums.


2 How to Help Someone You Love Stop Using Tobacco


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