Diseases Diseases

Most Common Tobacco Diseases


Tobacco has its roots from the 15th century and even though it is the oldest weed one might know, it still enjoys a very strong grip on the world. The majority of people all around the world use tobacco in the form of cigarette smoking, whereas tobacco is also consumed directly by some others in the form of betel quid etc. The interesting thing is that even though the tobacco diseases and other derogatory effects of tobacco were identified decades ago, the habit of tobacco smoking and chewing is still very prominent and popular amongst the masses.

Different forms of tobacco consumption have given rise to different tobacco diseases too. For example in India, tobacco is mostly consumed in the form of smoking and as an ingredient of betel quid (pan). Smoking tobacco can lead to diseases like lung cancer and other cardiovascular blockages, whereas chewing tobacco can lead to diseases like oral cancer and pre-cancerous ulcers.


Effects of tobacco on Health and Related Tobacco Diseases

The most direct impact of tobacco consumption from chewing is the formation of pre-cancerous lesions and oral cancer. Apart from that tobacco consumption in other forms is also largely responsible for other tobacco diseases like creation of upper aero-digestive tract cancers and various heart and respiratory tract diseases.

Various forms of tobacco consumptions and related diseases are mentioned below:

Cigarette: Cigarette smoking is the most popular and world-wide accepted way of consuming tobacco. A cigarette is basically made by wrapping grounded tobacco in a paper, with one end cut open to light it up. This cylindrical straw like construction can be smoked from the other closed end through the mouth. Cigarette smoking is highly injurious to health and evidently can cause tobacco diseases like oral and lung cancer. The ailments caused by cigarette smoking largely depend on certain factors like frequency of consumption, duration and the ways in which it is consumed.

For example, cigarette smoking process that is prevalent in China involving smoking to a very little butt can create leukoplakias in the labial mucosa. The same kind of leukoplakia can also be caused by the clay pipe (hookli) smoking popular in the state of Gujarat in India. Another similar form of smoking prevalent in India is “bidi” smoking, in which the ground tobacco is wrapped in a leaf and smoked.


Cigars: Even though the popularity of cigars has been reduced in modern times, it still is considered as a luxury amongst many. The main ingredients of a cigar are – a binder, filler and a wrapper and all these are made up of air-cured fermented tobacco.

Depending on the size of the cigar (which can vary from small to very large), the pathogenesis of oral lesions can be determined. The most effected area in cigar smoking is the floor of the mouth because of the ultra-thin epithelium.
Cheroots: Cheroots are basically smaller versions of cigar with both the ends cut off, and are made up of concentrated form of tobacco. Cheroot smoking is quite prevalent in Denmark, particularly amongst he women. A different version of “Cheroot” popular in Burma is called “Kiyo”. Cheroot smoking also causes leukoplakias.

Snuff dipping mainly involves finally powdered tobacco (occasionally flavored) and made in three forms: dry snuff (powder), moist snuff (moist containers of uniformly cut small particles) and fine-cut tobacco (fire and air cured tobacco). Oral consumption of snuff can create leukoplakias in the lower labial Mucosa.

Chewing of tobacco in form of betel quid may lead to the serious disease of squamous-cell carcinoma and oral leukoplakia that is precancerous.

Tips and comments

Apart from the above forms of tobacco consumption and related tobacco diseases include lung cancer, throat cancer, cardiovascular congestion and even cancer through passive smoking.

By Sia Attavar, published at 02/11/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (10 votes)
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