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Tobacco & Oral Health

Why Tobacco Is Not Worth It

Nowadays, it’s not enough to just teach your children to say “no” to mainstream cigarettes. Tobacco is making its way into the hands of today’s youth in various ways, including conventional cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco (“chew” or “dip”), snuff, pipe tobacco, and electronic cigarettes.

Children need to be aware of the dangers of all forms of tobacco. All tobacco contains nicotine which can have permanent effects on health, and should be avoided entirely.

Many people (not just young people) view smokeless tobacco (chew or snuff) as a less harmful alternative to smoking. While it may not have the negative impact on lungs that conventional tobacco does, chemicals are still present and still do sufficient damage. Some studies have actually concluded that smokeless tobacco may be even more addictive than smoking conventional cigarettes and more difficult to quit. One can of smokeless tobacco contains as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes.

Tobacco in all forms contains harmful chemicals and toxins. Tobacco use can have several short- and long-term effects on dental and overall health, including but not limited to the following:

  • Constant bad breath
  • Increased amounts of tooth decay and cavities
  • Extreme loosening or complete loss of teeth
  • Swollen, bleeding gums and/or gum disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Cardiovascular and neurocognitive problems
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Several types of cancers including lung, mouth, liver, colorectal, and more

Tobacco use is the main cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, yet more than 3,000 young people begin smoking cigarettes every single day. Even with all the anti-smoking advertisements and campaigns, children are still being pulled into the false belief that smoking is cool and it won’t really hurt them.

Protect your children from this lie by educating them about the harmful effects of all forms of tobacco.


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