The tobacco plant doesn’t fallen short of sharp controversies over a long period of time. The plant has over seventy known species but the common one is the Nicotiana tobacum. Tobacco is sourced from leaves of the tobacco plants, they are harvested, dried, cured, aged and processed as raw materials in making cigarettes and cigars. Tobacco and cigarette smoking is ranked have been identified by medics as causes of lung cancer.
Carcinogenic Chemicals and Corresponding Medical Effects
Formaldehyde, a colorless and strong smelling gas, this gas is among the main components of tobacco smoke. Not only are smokers exposed to this gas but also the non-smokers.
Studies indicate that prolonged exposure to formaldehyde result to lung cancer and also the cancer of the nasal sinuses. Formaldehyde has also been said to increase the risks to contracting Leukemia. Researchers have thus acknowledge its potential to cause cancer.
Benzene – This is yet another component of tobacco smoke that is associated with health implications in mankind. The combustion of tobacco in cigarettes yields benzene among other by products, inhalation is thus possible.
Prolonged inhalation of benzene leaves smokers at a high risk of contracting acute myeloid leukemia and is also believed to contribute to chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The damage to white blood cells over a long period of is quite substantial.
Tobacco-specific nitrosamines – These are a group of carcinogenic chemicals that are found to exist in tobacco and tobacco smoke, namely the Nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone (NNK) and N-Nitrosonornicotine(NNN). According to studies, these two are hugely responsible for oral cancer. NNK is lung specific meaning it’s more likely to be found in the human lungs, thus it can’t be eliminated as a possible cause for lung cancer.
Tobacco-specific nitrosamines are also responsible for pancreatic, esophagus and nasal cavity cancers.
Though it has commercial advantages, the tobacco plant can’t be isolated from its adverse medical effects. Knowledge of such facts shouldn’t be ignored if people wish to lead healthy and cancer free lives.