What is Tobacco?

Tobacco is an agricultural crop, most commonly used to make cigarettes. The psychoactive ingredient is nicotine, a stimulant, but more than 4,000 other chemicals (2,000 of which are known to be poisonous) are present in cigarettes. Tobacco is a nervous system stimulant that triggers complex biochemical and neurotransmitter disruptions. It elevates heart rate and blood pressure, constricts blood vessels, irritates lung tissue, and diminishes your ability to taste and smell. Tobacco is the only legal drug that kills many of its users when used exactly as intended by manufacturers. WHO has estimated that tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) is currently responsible for the death of about six million people across the world each year with many of these deaths occurring prematurely.

Health effects of Tobacco

  • Smoking can make it harder for a woman to become pregnant and can affect her baby's health before and after birth
    • Preterm (early) delivery.
    • Stillbirth (death of the baby before birth).
    • Low birth weight.
    • Sudden infant death syndrome (known as SIDS or crib death).
    • Ectopic pregnancy.
    • Orofacial clefts in infants.
  • Smoking can also affect men's sperm, which can reduce fertility and also increase risks for birth defects and miscarriage.
  • Smoking can affect bone health.
  • Smoking affects the health of your teeth and gums and can cause tooth loss.
  • Smoking can increase your risk for cataracts (clouding of the eye’s lens that makes it hard for you to see) and age-related macular degeneration (damage to a small spot near the center of the retina, the part of the eye needed for central vision).
  • Smoking is a cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus and can make it harder to control. The risk of developing diabetes is 30–40% higher for active smokers than nonsmokers.
  • Smoking causes general adverse effects on the body, including inflammation and decreased immune function.
  • Smoking is a cause of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Use is one of the main risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung diseases, and cardiovascular diseases.

Interventions to reduce Tobacco consume

Demand-side interventions such as:

  • Hard-hitting anti-tobacco advertisements and graphic pack warnings, especially those that include pictures, reduce the number of children who begin smoking and increase the number of smokers who quit.
  • Graphic warnings can persuade smokers to protect the health of non-smokers by smoking less inside the home and avoiding smoking near children.
  • A comprehensive ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship could decrease tobacco consumption by an average of about 7%, with some countries experiencing a decline in consumption of up to 16%.
  • Tobacco taxes are the most cost-effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among young and poor people. A tax that increases tobacco prices by 10% decreases tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and about 5% in low- and middle-income countries.

Key facts

  • Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
  • Tobacco kills around 6 million people each year. More than 5 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Nearly 80% of the world's 1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.

Does my Insurance Policy cover the treatment Tobacco side effects?

Yes. According to CCHI unified Policy terms and conditions, health insurance policies in Saudi Arabia cover the treatment of Tobacco side effects ,except: fertility and tooth implant.

Please Click Here to access the Unified CCHI Policy Wordings.
Please Click Here to access the Vaccination Schedule issues by the Ministry Of Health.


"Tobacco." MEDIA CENTER Fact Sheet. N.p., June 2016. Web. July 2016.
"Tabacco." Rules. N.p., n.d. Web. Aug. 2016.