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Do you know tobacco smoking can make your bone brittle?
Posted on 17th February 2022

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Tobacco smoking is one of the largest health problems worldwide. Millions of people in the world live in poor health conditions because of smoking. Worldwide more than 7 million deaths are due to direct tobacco use. About 1.2 million are non-smokers dying because they are exposed to second-hand smoke.1 According to CDC (the center for disease control and prevention), on average- people who smoke die about ten years earlier than the people who have never smoked.

Do you know? Smoking eats our body slowly………. which we don't feel for a long time!

No matter by which way we smoke it, tobacco is dangerous to our health. There are no safe substances in the tobacco and tobacco-related products, from acetone and tar to nicotine and carbon monoxide. The substances we inhale don’t just affect our lungs; they can affect our entire bodies. Smoking leads to various major complications in the body and long-term effects on our body's organ systems.

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Smoking is considered a leading risk factor for poor bone health. It affects the metabolism of different hormones, body weight, vitamin D levels, calcium absorption, blood circulation throughout the body and increases oxidative stress, thus disrupting healthy bone resorption and formation mechanisms, leading to the osteonecrosis of the hip joint.

Hip Osteonecrosis of the hip, also known as avascular necrosis of the hip, is a very painful disease mainly caused by reduced blood flow to the hip joint. It results in bone cell death in the hip joints; eventually, hip joints get collapse.

Tobacco smoke contains nicotine which causes osteonecrosis by two possible mechanisms:

Nicotine causes narrowing of our blood vessels; it limits the amount of blood flow to the hip joint. Narrowed blood vessels decrease the amount of oxygen and nutrients our cells receive, which leads to cell death, resulting in osteonecrosis.2

  • Nicotine also disturbs the body's ability to absorb calcium, leading to lower bone density and weak and brittle bones. Weak bones are so brittle that even mild stresses or a fall can break the bones. This commonly occurs in the hip joint, resulting in hip osteonecrosis.2

"Smoking has a harmful effect on the bones, causing loss of bone density and, eventually, premature osteonecrosis when young people take up cigarette smoking,”3

Dr.Raju Vaishya, Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi

As per a research article published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, smoking was a significant risk factor for low bone density among both men and women.4 According to Zhenxing Wen et al., current smokers are at a higher risk of developing hip osteonecrosis, and the risk persists after quitting.5

In the journal Orthopedic Science, a study published by Shinji Takahashi et al. showed that frequent (heavier) smoking was associated with a higher risk of avascular necrosis. They also confirmed previous positive associations between cigarette smoking and hip osteonecrosis.6

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If you are looking for a permanent and curative solution for osteonecrosis rather than treating only symptoms, OSSGROW® is the best option for you. OSSGROW® is a specific bone-forming cell therapy option for treating the early stages of osteonecrosis. The OSSGROW® initiate new bone formation in the affected area og hip joint. In this way, your natural hip joint gets preserved.


  • Joshua D. Jaramillo et al. Reduced Bone mass and Vertebral Fractures in cigarette Smokers. Men and COPD Patients at Increased Risk. 25719895
  • Wen Z. Influence of cigarette smoking on osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH): a systematic review and meta-analysis. Hip Int. 2017 Sep 19;27(5):425-435. DOI: 10.5301/hipint.5000516. Epub 2017 May 29. PMID: 28574127.
  • Takahashi S et al.Pronounced risk of osteonecrosis of the hip joint among smokers who have never used oral corticosteroids: a multicenter case-control study in Japan. J Orthop Sci. 2012 Nov;17(6):730-6. DOI: 10.1007/s00776-012-0293-x. Epub 2012 Aug 29. PMID: 22927108.

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