Cigarette smoking affects the health of a person. In fact, many of the diseases noted today can be caused by smoking or has to smoke as one of its risk factors. Cigarette smoking may drastically affect the mouth and throat, aside from the other problems it causes such as bad breath, and stained teeth.
Smoking is a big factor in the formation of various cancers of the mouth, throat, pharynx, larynx, tongue, lips, esophagus and the salivary glands. The longer you smoke, the greater the risk of acquiring these potentially-fatal cancers.
Both smoking or chewing tobacco may increase the risk of having cancer in the mouth or throat. All known forms of smoking are associated with these cancers including cigars, pipes, and cigarettes. Aside from causing cancer of the throat, cigarette smoking may lead to other cancers like lung cancer, bladder cancer, and others.
More than 80 percent of mouth, throat, and nose cancers were diagnosed in people who smoke cigars, pipes or cigarettes. Nonsmokers, on the other hand, have lower risks of developing throat cancer.
However, despite the fact that smoking can cause a multitude of diseases, quitting smoking is very hard for some people. There are many ways that can help you quit smoking. Quitting smoking can markedly reduce the risk of oral and throat cancer.
Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of cancer. Quitting smoking or not smoking at all significantly reduces one’s risk of developing cancer, particularly oral and throat cancer. The good news is, cancer deaths can be prevented by just giving up smoking.
Smoking And Its Effects On The Throat
Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that can trigger cancer. When you inhale these chemicals, they cause some genetic changes in the cells found in the throat area.
These genetic changes may lead to the development of throat cancer.
Also, smoking heightens the risk of throat cancer by exposing the larynx and other parts of the throat to carcinogenic chemicals. Regardless of how people use tobacco, they all lead to cancer. There is no such thing as a safe way to use tobacco – whether smoking or chewing.
For smokers, the more cigarettes they use or smoke a day, the greater the risk of throat cancer. Quitting smoking completely may cut down the risk of developing throat cancer.
In fact, many studies have shown that the number of years spent on smoking significantly affects the cancer risk, more than the number of cigarettes a person smokes a day.
This means that smoking one pack of cigarette for 40 years can be more dangerous than smoking two packs of cigarettes for 20 years.
How Does Smoking Cause Throat Cancer?
Cancer cells emerge when the DNA of healthy cells become damaged. The primary way that smoking causes cancer is by damaging the DNA in cells, which include key genes that protect the body against cancer.
Cigarettes or tobacco contain many chemicals that have been dubbed as carcinogens or those that can damage the DNA. Some of the chemicals in cigarette smoke that can cause cancer include benzo(a)pyrene, nitrosamines, benzene, and polonium-210. Other chemicals in cigarettes may not cause cancer, but they can make things worse.
For instance, cigarette smoke contains chromium and this chemical triggers carcinogenic substances in cigarette-like benzo(a)pyrene to stick to DNA more strongly. Thus, it increases the risk of DNA damage and eventually, cancer. Moreover, a cigarette contains chemicals such as nickel and arsenic, which may interrupt the pathways for damaged DNA repair, making it more likely for the damaged cells to turn cancerous.
How Long Does It Take For Smoking To Cause Cancer?
It normally takes many years before cigarette smoking can cause damage to the DNA.
The human body is designed to cope with certain damages to the body. However, in the long run, the body can’t cope anymore, and as a result, the DNA in cells become mutated.
They could turn cancerous and uncontrollably divide, forming tumors.
Some studies have shown that for every 15 sticks of cigarettes smoked, there is a DNA change that could trigger cancer.
What Are The Chemicals Found In Cigarettes?
There are about 600 ingredients in each cigarette, and when they’re burned, they can create about 7,000 chemicals, the American Lung Association reports. About 69 of these chemicals are known carcinogenic.
The most common chemicals found in cigarette include:
- Acetic acid – A common ingredient in hair dye
- Acetone – A nail polish remover
- Ammonia – commonly used in the house to clean
- Benzene – A component of rubber cement
- Arsenic – A common ingredient in rat poison
- Cadmium – An ingredient in battery acid
- Butane – Substance used in stoves and lighter fluid
- Formaldehyde – A chemical used in embalming
- Carbon monoxide – A colorless and odorless poisonous gas
- Lead – a chemical used in batteries
- Hexamine – A chemical found in barbeque lighter fluid
- Naphthalene – A common ingredient in mothballs
- Nicotine – used in insecticide, addicting
- Methanol – Main component of rocket fuel
- Toluene – A chemical used to produce paint
- Tar- A material for paving roads