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Rihanna Suffering From Bronchitis; Years of Heavy Smoking Take Toll

Rihanna has used smoking as part of her image. But heavy use of tobacco and marijuana is taking a toll on her lungs and health. (Photo: Paper magazine)

Rihanna has used smoking as part of her image. But heavy use of tobacco and marijuana is taking a toll on her lungs and health. (Photo: Paper magazine)

Rihanna failed to show at the Grammys last night where she was scheduled to perform. Her reps blamed a bad case of bronchitis, likely related to years of smoking, both cigarettes and unfiltered blunts. It can only get worse for the Barbadian singer, if she keeps it up.

Rihanna, 27, has been puffing on pot and nasty cigarillos for at least a decade. She’s often taking selfies of herself with a joint hanging from her lip.

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In fact, it’s become one of her signature looks. Whatever sexual allure it adds to her image, however, her habit is taking a toll on her health, according to medical references.

Cigar smoke, like cigarette smoke, contains toxic, cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Cigar smoke is possibly more toxic than cigarette smoke,” according to the National Cancer Institute.

But cancer isn’t the only threat. Smoking also damages the linings of the lungs and makes someone more susceptible to lung diseases, from chronic bronchitis to emphysema.

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In fact smoking has been linked to a wide range of illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, asthma and low birth weight and defects in babies, according to the American Lung Association.

Marijuana smoke has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants and carcinogens as tobacco smoke, according to the association.

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Pot smokers also tend to inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than cigarette smokers, which leads to a greater intake of tar and other chemicals.

The end result is often chronic bronchitis, chronic cough, excess phlegm production, wheezing and acute bronchitis, which sounds exactly like Rihanna’s diagnosis.

The singer was scheduled to perform during the first hour of the show, but she canceled because of bronchitis, according to gossip site TMZ.

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“Based on Rihanna’s examination, after Grammy rehearsal today, Rihanna’s doctor put her on vocal rest for 48-hours because she was at risk of hemorrhaging her vocal chords,” a rep said in a statement released to the media.

“The antibiotics she has been on for three days did not kill the infection adequately therefore she cannot perform safely,” it added.

While chronic bronchitis and emphysema are considered long-term diseases, they also can afflict younger people who are heavy smokers.

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The late UK singer Amy Winehouse was diagnosed with a pre-emphysema condition before she died at the age of 27. And, Lindsay Lohan, another heavy smoker, was hospitalized in 2012 because of a serious lung infection.

Rihanna’s health became a major issue during her Loud Tour in 2011. After calling off her second European show in three days, she was hospitalized. Her reps claimed she was suffering from exhaustion.

She tweeted a shocking photo of herself at the time, hooked up to an IV drip in a Swedish hospital.

These days, the quality of her voice also appears diminished by her habit. She sounds much raspier now than she did years ago when her voice had clarity.

Coupled with heavy partying, she’s put herself in jeopardy more than once. Let’s hope she finally decides to take her health seriously now.

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