Tobacco is associated with a spectrum of oral lesions. The abusive potential is due to the presence of nicotine. Nicotine addiction is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Assessment of Nicotine consumed and the pH of the tobacco products was estimated using Spectrophotometer and pH meter. The potential toxicity of smokeless tobacco products was assessed by estimating the presence of toxic metals and pathogens.
It was found that Nicotine concentration ranged from 14.27mg/g to 26.76mg/g for smoked tobacco and between 5.6mg/g to 14.9mg/g for smokeless tobacco products. However the absorption is dependent on the pH. The pH varied from 5.87 to 6.3 in Smoked tobacco products and 7.85 to 9.94 in smokeless tobacco. The heavy metals and trace elements found in smokeless tobacco were Nickel, Lead, Copper, Zinc and Cadmium. Genus bacillus, Klebsiella and Aspergillus fumigatus were the micro-organisms found in smokeless tobacco which may pose serious health hazards.
Studies have motivated an interest to assess the presence of Nicotine in dentifrice. It was found that it ranged from 241.76 µg/g in medicated toothpastes to 546.4 µg/g in herbal toothpastes. Regulatory authorities should give more attention to ensure that the toothpastes are free from nicotine.
Nicotine stimulation of adrenergic drive raising both blood pressure and myocardial oxygen demand. It also increases cardiovascular diseases through enhancement of blood coagulation in the vessels, interference with myocardial oxygen delivery and reduction of the threshold for the ventricular fibrillation
Expectant mothers who smoke heavily produce babies are much smaller than the average it is because nicotine has a vasoconstrictor influence in the uterus and induces a degree of placental insufficiency. The adverse effects of smoking ranges from low birth weight to an increased risk of perinatal death of infants. Women who smoke during pregnancy give birth to babies which on an average weigh 170g less at term than the babies of non-smokers. The report of the WHO expert committee on smoking control contains information on specific smoking cessation methods such as smoking cessation clinics, nicotine substitutes, hypnosis, etc. A study in India has shown that there is no difference between tar and nicotine delivery of the filter and non-filter cigarettes smoked in India so that a filter gives no protection. Nicotine chewing gum can be tried to wean patients from smoking. Mandatory depiction of tar and nicotine contents along with maximum permissible limits on tobacco packs should be mentioned.
Surveillance on various tobacco products, public health awareness, raising a mass movement against tobacco, sensitizing the professionals on tobacco cessation may have a huge impact in curbing this menace.
Article by Dr. Siri P.B.
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