Molecular and health effects in the upper respiratory tract associated with tobacco smoking other than cigarettes

Int J Cancer. 2019 Jun 1;144(11):2635-2643. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31846. Epub 2018 Oct 4.


The objective of the review was to compare molecular and health effects of tobacco smoking using cigars, cigarillos, pipe and water pipe in relation to the effects of cigarette smoking. In this review we will focus on the upper respiratory tract. Mechanisms of interaction of tobacco smoke constituents after products other than cigarettes are similar to these associated with cigarette smoking. Carcinogenic activity was demonstrated for any type of tobacco smoking, although the risk of developing head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains lower in users of cigars, traditional pipe and water pipe as compared to cigarette smoking. Nevertheless, there is no way of safe tobacco smoking.

Keywords: cigars; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; tobacco smoke; toxicity; water pipe.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Respiratory System / drug effects*
  • Respiratory System / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck / epidemiology*
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck / etiology
  • Tobacco Products / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Smoking / trends