Let’s Talk Tobacco

How much do you really know about tobacco? Well, you know it’s that stuff that we tuck into our cheek or roll up in paper, light on fire, and inhale. It’s the stuff in snuff, the addictive contents of a cigarette. You’re smart enough to know that it’s also the stuff that kills.

Arsenic. Tar. Lead. Oh, my.

Would you knowingly ingest arsenic, tar, or lead? How about acetone? Butane? Carbon Monoxide? Formaldehyde? These are all chemicals found in tobacco smoke. If you think e-cigarettes, popular with youths and young adults, are better, think again. The various colors and flavors they come in are formed by combining nicotine from tobacco with – you guessed it – dangerous chemicals.

As podiatrists, Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland watch cigarette-smoking trends carefully. Consider these facts:

  • Tobacco kills more than 7 million people a year worldwide
  • Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Ohio – and in the United States
  • More than 20,000 deaths in Ohio each year can be attributed to cigarette smoking

The tobacco-foot connection

We’re betting that very few tobacco users realize they’re also putting their feet at risk.

One of most insidious effects of smoking is on our circulatory system. Nicotine and other chemicals actually damage our blood vessels, causing them to build up with plaque. Plaque clogs your arteries and impedes the flow of blood. Since our feet are so far away from our heart, blood flow to the feet can really suffer.

Anyone who smokes, then, is putting their feet at risk and will suffer from symptoms such as

  • numbness
  • coldness
  • broken, cracked skin
  • decreased hair and nail growth
  • ulcers and other sores that don’t heal.

No-Tobacco Day

We honor the decision of the World Health Organization to set aside May 31 as World No-Tobacco Day. 7 million people a year aren’t heading the message that tobacco kills. We, in our own little corner of Solon, Ohio, are giving you yet another reason to quit smoking: it prevents disease in your feet.

For more information about all the ways Dr. Frey and Dr. Oltmann can safeguard your foot health or eliminate your foot pain, give us a call at (440) 903-1041 or make an appointment online.