Despite the significant health risks resulting from tobacco use, the prevalence of smokers worldwide remains high. Cigarette smoking is one of the major sources of toxic chemical exposure to humans and is the greatest cause of preventable illnesses and premature death. The adverse consequences of smoking in various pathologies are mediated by its effects on the immune-inflammatory system. In this review, we aim to explore the effects of cigarette smoking on the inflammatory response and molecular mechanisms with emphasis on the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) pathway. The effects of smoking on various inflammatory pathologies will be discussed, focusing on oral diseases, airway inflammation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
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