Tobacco Use & Chronic Disease

Want to quit using tobacco and improve your chronic condition?


Each year, smoking tobacco kills more people than all traffic accidents, illegal drugs, alcohol, firearms, and HIV/AIDS. Tobacco, in all forms, also causes many other health issues. These issues can include:

  • Heart disease.
  • Cancer
  • Breathing problems.
  • Dental problems.
  • Eye and ear problems.
  • Bone problems.
  • Reproductive problems.

If you have a chronic condition like asthma, diabetes, or COPD, tobacco use can worsen your conditions. Here’s how tobacco worsens chronic conditions:


When you have asthma and smoke tobacco, you are more likely to have an asthma attack. When you stop smoking tobacco, you will be able to better control your asthma symptoms. You may also need less medicine.


Smoking tobacco when you have COPD makes it much harder for you to breathe. This is because the smoke is damaging your lungs. Smoking tobacco can also cause serious lung infections like pneumonia. When you stop smoking tobacco, the smoke is not hurting your lungs anymore. This should improve your breathing. You will also be less likely to get lung infections.


Using tobacco when you have diabetes increases your risk of having a stroke. Your blood sugar medications or shots may not work as well. If you don’t already have diabetes, smoking can cause you to develop it. People who smoke cigarettes are up to 40 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t smoke. There are other risks to using tobacco when you have diabetes.


Tobacco use can cause cancer nearly anywhere in your body. This includes in your mouth and lungs.  You will always be at a higher risk for cancer if you use tobacco.

Heart Disease

Tobacco users with heart disease have double the risk of having a heart attack than those who don’t use tobacco. Tobacco use increases your blood pressure and heart rate, which damages your blood vessels. This increases your chance of having a stroke.  If you stop using tobacco, your blood pressure and heart rate go down. Your risk of having a heart attack or stroke also goes down. The damage to your blood vessels starts to heal when you stop using tobacco.

Tooth Decay and Periodontal Disease

Smokeless tobacco often contains lots of sugar. As you keep it between your cheeks and gums for long periods of time, it can cause severe tooth decay and gum issues. Over time, this could cause your teeth to fall out.

Using tobacco in any form can harm your health and make existing conditions worse. It can even cause new diseases that can lead to death. CareSource is here to help you stop using tobacco and offers rewards for participating in the Quit Now Kentucky.

Through the Quit Now Kentucky, you will have access to a free and confidential Quit Coach, online tools and resources, and your own quit guide.

Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to get started right away.

The Quit Now Kentucky can help you take the next steps to quit using these tobacco products:

  • Cigarettes
  • Cigars
  • Hookah
  • Chewing Tobacco
  • E-Cigarettes
  • Vaping

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Tobacco-Free Resources
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Benefits of Quitting Tobacco
Former Smokers Share Stories