Tobacco addiction is a difficult challenge to say the least. Whether you’re watching a loved one struggle, or you yourself are wrestling with the problem, being addicted to tobacco can have severe consequences. In fact, excessive tobacco use and tobacco addiction has been linked to disease and cancer in the following 12 parts of the body: the mouth, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus, lung/bronchus, stomach, kidney, pancreas, colon, bladder, and the uterus and cervix for women. Even myeloid leukemia has been linked to tobacco use. According to the CDC, smoking cigarettes is linked to 80 to 90% of all lung cancers in the United States. They cite tobacco smoke as one of the main culprits, saying that it has a lethal mix of thousands of chemicals, 70 of which have been shown to cause cancer.
Tobacco use can start innocently enough. In fact, according to cancer.org, many teens try smoking for the first time simply because they say it looks cool or that they just wanted to try it. The major concern is that the younger someone is when they start smoking, the higher the risk that they will become addicted to nicotine. The Surgeon General estimates that if current trends continue, 5.6 million Americans under the age of 18 living today will die prematurely from diseases related to smoking. Tobacco use and smoking have devastating health consequences, particularly for young people, as tobacco addiction can greatly decrease their quality of life for decades to come.