By: Jonathan Painter

What is Tobacco?

Tobacco is a carrier for the highly addictive drug nicotine. Once your body gets a taste for nicotine, it can quickly become a life-long addiction. Nicotine is one of the more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes and its smoke. It is the chemical that makes tobacco addictive or habit forming. Once we smoke, chew, or sniff tobacco, nicotine goes into our bloodstream, and our body wants more. The nicotine in tobacco makes it a drug. This means that when we use tobacco, it changes our body in some way.

How it can be used

Risks of Tobacco

While the health risks are highest among heavy smokers and long-term smokers, no user of tobacco escapes risk, including users of smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco and snuff).

Some Risks

  • Emphysema
  • Pneumonia
  • Influenza (the "flu")
  • The common cold
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Crohn's disease
  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Gum disease
  • Cancer