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Do you ever wonder why it's so hard for tobacco users to quit even though they know the health risks? The reason is they're addicted. Nicotine is a highly dangerous chemical substance found in tobacco that give smokers their feeling of getting high and causes the addiction.

Tobacco can be found in several forms. There's cigarettes/cigars, snuff, and chewing tobacco. In the case of a cigarette, a smoker inhales it through the mouth and exhales it through the nose and the mouth. Snuff is a fine powder that is held between the teeth and the gums and eventually is spit out. Chewing tobacco is chewed and spit out also. Gum loss, chronic inflammation, and tooth loss are a few of the effects smokeless tobacco has on the teeth, mouth, and gums. Your saliva increases as you are using smokeless tobacco, causing your desire to swallow. When you try to swallow your saliva, you swallow some of the tobacco, and doing that results in vomiting. If you don't swallow, you would have to spit continuously. Leukoplakia appears as a toughening and whitening of the gums that will lead to cancer. Cancer causing chemicals include nitrosamines, which form as tobacco is being cured or while it's in the mouth. If you use tobacco, your health is at risk. Smokeless tobacco causes cancer of the larynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, and oral cavity. Not to mention that tobacco users might get chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart diseases, coronary arteries, lung disease, heart and circulatory dysfunction, shortness of breath, smoker's cough, and the increased chance of getting a stroke. Consumption of alcohol and smoking at the same time causes cancer and high blood pressure. Smoking harms the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and central nervous system.

Not only is smoking harmful to the body, but it is harmful if breathed. Pregnant women who smoke or smell smoke harm themselves as well as their fetus. The newborns of smokers are lighter in weight and are liable to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). People exposed to smoke have the same effects as smokers do. Exposure to smoke causes fatal fires, bronchitis, pneumonia (especially among small children), asthma, reduced athletic performance, and reduced performance on work or standardized tests. As a result of all of the tobacco use in our society, tobacco kills 419,000 Americans per year. Compare at least 50% of all Chinese and Russian doctors who still smoke to at least 10% of all United States doctors who still smoke. The risk of a smoker developing a smoke related disease depends on the total lifetime exposure to smoke, number of cigarettes smoked per day, age when started smoking, and number of years a person has smoked.

Tobacco industries play the major role in tobacco use. They lure people (especially teenagers and kids) into believing that tobacco is not harmful. How do they do that? By surrounding tobacco products with special privileges or luxuries. For example: Accompanying the background of a perfect beach would be an attractive woman smoking, relaxing, having fun, and showing no signs of cancer or any diseases. Although there are people who fall for these tricks, there are those who don't. Trials are put against tobacco companies for the reasons of health damages that occur to tobacco users, luring kids into using tobacco, and lying about the harm in tobacco products.

Astonishing ratings explain a lot about Virginia's smokers. 3,000 kids become regular smokers each day. Every year, Virginian minors illegally purchase 6.5 million cigarette packs, totaling $10.4 million dollars in sales. 29.6% of high school kids in Virginia currently smoke cigarettes. 135,452 kids under age 18 will die prematurely from tobacco related diseases. 17.6% of high school males in our state use smokeless tobacco. Continued use of cigarettes can include the following signs: cigarette stains on fingers, yellow and tar stained teeth, bad breath, smelly clothes, deepened voice, and older-looking skin (as caused by wrinkles). Although the outside shows some effects of smoking, the major difference is on the inside. Below is a picture of the lungs of a person who smokes:

Spend your time using tobacco, spend less living. You control yourself. You shape your life you want it to be. Make your call and do what you believe is right for your body.

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