Nicotine (used in the form of cigarettes, chew, and cigars) is one of the most used addictive drugs in the United States.  Tobacco use (either by smoking or chewing) increases your risk for many types of cancer, infertility, ulcers, lung disease, strokes, osteoporosis, etc.  The chart below lists some of the most common long term effects of smoking tobacco (for pipe or chew, the affected areas are in the face and mouth region).

 

It is well known that the person smoking isn't the only one being harmed by cigarettes and cigarette smoke.  Secondhand smoke is a problem for children, spouses, friends, pets, and basically anyone within a few feet from a smoker.  If you are sitting outside at a cafe and you are near someone who is smoking, your exposure could be the same as if you sat one hour inside a bar with smokers.  Children who live with parents that are smokers display risk factors for asthma when they did not previously have symptoms.  Pets such as cats and dogs have an increased risk of cancer when their owners are smokers.  If you or someone you love is around a smoker, it is best to be cautious and ask the person not to light up around you.

 

 

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