Health Implications of Cigarette Smoking
Wrinkles and Age Spots
Repeated use of the muscles around the lips when smoking, and the loss of skin elasticity from chemicals in cigarettes cause many smokers to develop deep lines around their lips. Other signs of premature aging include uneven skin tone.
Skin and Nail Discoloration
Brown stain on the fingers and fingernails of a cigarette smoker due to tar and nicotine build up from tobacco.
Stomatitis, or oral inflammation, is caused by repeatedly inhaling heated smoke from cigarettes or pipes. White lesions form on the hard palate of the mouth, and excess keratin produced by affected cells builds up on the tongue.
Damage to teeth and gums
Yellow teeth are one of the most notorious effects of long-term smoking, but smokers also develop gum disease, persistent bad breath, plaque and tartar buildup and are twice as likely to loose teeth as nonsmokers.
Smoking and other tobacco use are associated with 70% to 80% of oral cancer cases. The most common symptoms include a sore patch on the tongue, lips, gums, or other area inside the mouth that does not go away and may be painful.
Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, and about 80% to 90% of cases are associated with smoking. The white area in the upper lobe of this post-mortem lung is cancer; the black areas indicate the patient was a smoker. Smoking can lead to other lung problems, including pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema.
More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined, according to the CDC. The good news: Nearly 70% of smokers want to quit, and about 50% said they made an attempt in the year prior to being questioned, data from 2001-2010 National Health Interview Surveys indicate. The bad news: They may not be getting as much help from health care providers, as they need – only 48.3% of those surveyed said they were advised to quit. Be sure to counsel smokers about the habit’s dangerous health effects and cessation options.
Sign Up for Free e-newsletters
Psychiatry Advisor Articles
- Link Identified Between Cured Meat and Mania in Bipolar Disorder
- Suicide Attempts Associated With Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disturbances in Bipolar Disorder
- First-Episode Delusional Disorder vs Schizophrenia: Assessment of Outcomes
- Early Risk Factors for Bipolar Disorder Found in Offspring of BD Parents
- Probiotics, Depression, and the Role of Inflammation
- The Opioid System: The Foundation for Social Risk and Reward
- Correctional Psychiatry: Challenges and Rewards
- Those Left Behind: Working With Suicide-Bereaved Families
- The Impact of Deafness on Hallucinations and Delusions
- Is Mandatory Reporting of Child Maltreatment in the Best Interests of the Child?
- Nutrition Tips for Physicians: Staying Healthy During Busy Days
- Mental Health Problems in Adolescents With HIV: Overview & Expert Interview
- Should Physicians Play a Role in Minimizing the Societal Cost of Medical Care?
- Digital Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effective for Individuals With Insomnia
- How Do Medical Scribes Reduce EHR Documentation Burden for Physicians?