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What is it?

Tobacco is a plant. Its leaves are manufactured into products such as cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco (pipes, snuff, and chewing tobacco).

Tobacco is the only organic source of nicotine, which is its addictive agent. In addition to nicotine, tobacco smoke contains 4,000 different gases and particles, including:

  • “Tar,” a conglomeration of many chemicals, which is especially harmful to the lungs
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cyanide
  • More than 40 carcinogens—chemicals capable of causing cancer. One of these chemicals, benzo(a)pyrene, is being studied as a possible direct link to cancer

What are the consequences of using it and the possible symptoms?

  • Cancer
  • Emphysema
  • Heart disease
  • Damage to heart and brain tissue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Depression
  • Smoking impedes the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen to bodily tissues, including heart and brain tissue. The lack of oxygen causes the heart to work harder and can lead to a thickening of the walls and possible heart failure

Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Dangerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure,
    appetite, temperature, and digestion.
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue