Holy smoke! Longtime cigarette smoker grows hair in his throat

Cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases and diabetes are among the many risks of cigarette smoking, but an Australian smoker has actually begun growing hair in his throat as a result of the habit.

The American Journal of Case Reports revels that the unidentified 52-year-old man, who had been smoking for 17 years, was experiencing hoarseness, difficulty breathing and a chronic cough. A bronchoscopy led to a diagnosis of endotracheal hair growth — hair growing in the throat.

In fairness, his condition wasn’t entirely brought on by smoking. The man had nearly drowned when he was 10 years old and received a tracheotomy to help him breathe. The wound was subsequently closed by grafting skin and cartilage from his ear.

He had been treated several times for the hair growth over the years, but it kept returning. It wasn’t until he quit smoking and doctors performed a couple of follow-up surgeries that the hairs in his throat stopped growing altogether.

The man’s hairy situation is still up for debate, but doctors believe the man’s smoking triggered the hair growth by inflaming the throat tissue, which caused stem cells to turn into hair follicles.