Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Smoking and the Voice

Do you smoke?

Suprisingly, I see few patients in my practice that are smokers. This is fortunate, as more than 90% of laryngeal cancers occur in smokers. Unfortunately, the tissue damage from smoking persists for decades after quitting. Some patients develop smoking-related cancers many years after quitting.

In addition to cancer, smoke causes inflammation and swelling, polyp formation, and precancerous changes of the vocal cords.

We know very little about the effects of marijuana smoke on the vocal cords, though I suspect it is equally dangerous as cigarette smoke.
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