Once it is harvested, the green leafs of the tobacco plant are often rolled or ground up and turned into cigarettes, chewing tobacco and cigars. In cigarettes and cigars, the ground leaves are often mixed with a variety of chemicals to give them more flavor, make them more addictive and produce desired smoking effects. Mass-produced cigarettes often contain thousands of ingredients along with the tobacco.
Loose-leafed tobacco is often smoked in pipes in many countries around the world. Pieces of the leaves are stuffed into the piped and smoked.
As chewing tobacco, snuff or smokeless tobacco, the wad of tobacco is often placed inside the mouth, between the gum and the lip. The user spits out the juices and sucks on the wad until all the flavor and chemicals have been drained from it.
Tobacco by itself creates fewer side effects than it does when combined with the many other chemicals usually present in cigarettes or cigars. Simply inhaling smoke from tobacco leaves (or smoke of any kind) causes a number of health issues that affect the lungs and heart. In the short term, it causes shortness of breath, toxic buildup, coughing and a scratchy throat. Long term use ensures that carcinogens are introduced heavily into the body’s systems. This means a greater risk for lung cancer, throat cancer and other forms of respiratory cancer. Heart disease of all kinds is also a byproduct of prolonged use.
When coupled with nicotine, it becomes incredibly addictive, and the people who use it tend to smoke so long that about half of them die from related conditions.
Smokeless tobacco is not exempt from many of the same effects. Even though it is not smoked, it still contains carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) that affect the body. Throat and mouth cancer affect a large percentage of habitual smokeless tobacco users. They also suffer from a variety of oral health problems, including rotting teeth and gums, bad breath and cavities.
Tobacco is responsible for the largest percentage of preventable disease in the world. Its use may be slightly different from country to country, but whether it is clove cigarette, cigars, smokeless tobacco or kreteks, the end result is always the same after extended use. The sooner a user quits using tobacco, the greater their chances will be that they do not experience the vast majority of harmful side effects.
Any form of tobacco that contains nicotine is the most dangerous type to use. That is because nicotine is not only addictive, but it is also toxic, and it is a major component in many pesticides. Tobacco serves no beneficial medical purpose, and it use is widely criticized by health organizations around the world as detrimental not only to those who use it, but also to those around them who suffer secondhand effects. After all, 60,000 people die each year from illnesses caused by secondhand smoke.