Smoking of tobacco is widely practiced worldwide. It all begins as try, becomes habit and gradually lead to dependence due to addictive nature of tobacco. Use of tobacco and tobacco products is linked to various forms of cancer. “Cancer,” a word which once heard triggers fear and anxiety, reason being this illness has caused many people to lose their lives. Oral and pharyngeal cancer is ranged sixth most common cancer for both the genders worldwide. Use of tobacco products with poor dietary habits, alcohol intake and stressful lifestyle is the reason for increasing cases of oral cancer. Men are more likely to have oral cancer as compared to women. Tobacco is loaded with a lot of carcinogens and highly addictive alkaloid nicotine which is the main reason of its popularity and dependence. Carcinogenesis is the result of accumulation of genetic alterations in somatic cells. The carcinogens in tobacco include nitrosamines, nitroproline, nitrosodiethanoalamine, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This article focuses on the smoking associated risks and molecular pathogenesis of oral cancer along with cancer risk value of tobacco compounds.
Key words: Smoking, Nicotine, nitrosamines, tumour suppressor genes, proto oncogenes.