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The Truth About Tobacco

Brand / Generic Names

Cigarettes, Cigars, Chewing Tobacco, Tobacco

Street Names

Butts, Coffin Nails, Fags, Snuff, Chew, Nicotine, Chaw, Stogies, Skag, Gasper, Cig, Smoke, Pill, Dog Turd

 

Get the Facts

Tobacco damages your health.

Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. Smoking is also a leading cause of cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, pancreas, and kidney. Smokeless tobacco can cause mouth cancer, tooth loss, and other health problems.

Tobacco affects your body's development. Smoking is particularly harmful for teens because your body is still growing and changing. The 200 known poisons in cigarette smoke affect your normal development and can cause life-threatening diseases, such as chronic bronchitis, heart disease, and stroke.

Tobacco is addictive. Cigarettes contain nicotine-a powerfully addictive substance. Three-quarters of young people who use tobacco daily continue to do so because they find it hard to quit.

Tobacco can kill you. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in this country. More than 400,000 Americans die from tobacco-related causes each year, and most of them began using tobacco before the age of 18.

Before You Risk it…

Know the law. It is illegal for anyone under 18 to buy cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, or tobacco-related products.

Stay Informed. Addiction to tobacco is hard to control. More than 90 percent of teens who use tobacco daily experience at least one symptom of withdrawal  when they try to quit.

Keep your edge. The poisons in cigarettes can affect your appearance. Smoking can dry your skin out and cause wrinkles. Some research even relates smoking to premature gray hair and hair loss.

Be aware. It can be hard to play sports if you use tobacco. Smoking causes shortness of breath and dizziness, and chewing tobacco causes dehydration.

Think of others. Smoking puts the health of your friends and family at risk. Approximately 3,000 nonsmokers die of lung cancer each year from breathing other peoples' smoke.

Get the facts. Each day more than 3,000 people under age 18 become regular smokers. That's more than 1 million teens per year. Roughly one-third of them will eventually die from a tobacco-related disease.

Look around you. Even though a lot of teens use tobacco, most don't. According to a 1998 study, less than 20 percent of teens are regular smokers. In fact, 64 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds have never even tried a cigarette.

Know the Signs…

How can you tell if a friend is using tobacco? Sometimes it's tough to tell. But there are signs you can look for. If your friend has one or more of the following signs, he or she may be regularly using tobacco:

·                     Wheezing

·                     Coughing

·                     Bad breath

·                     Smelly hair and clothes

·                     Yellow-stained teeth and fingers

·                     Frequent colds

·                     Decreased senses of smell and taste

·                     Difficulty keeping up with sports and athletic activities

·                     Bleeding gums (smokeless tobacco)

·                     Frequent mouth sores (smokeless tobacco)

 

Q&A….

 Q. Doesn't smoking help you relax?

A. No. Smoking can actually increase feelings of stress and nervousness. Break the cycle: Use drug-free strategies to calm your nerves like exercise and talking to your friends.

Q. Isn't smokeless tobacco safer to use than cigarettes?

A. No. There is no safe form of tobacco. Smokeless tobacco can cause mouth, cheek, throat, and stomach cancer. Smokeless tobacco users are 50 times more likely to get oral cancer than non-users. Those smokeless tobacco users who don't develop some type of cancer are still likely to have signs of use, like stained teeth, bad breath, and mouth sores.

Q. Isn't smoking sexy?

A. Only if you think bad breath, smelly hair, yellow fingers, and coughing are sexy. Advertisements often portray smoking as glamorous and sophisticated, but think carefully about who created these ads and why.

 

 

The Facts About Tobacco

Do you know what’s in a cigarette?

Think it’s just made of nicotine and tobacco? Think again! A cigarette releases 4,000 chemicals when a person smokes it. If you take a look in your garage, basement, or under your kitchen sink, you will find some of the things put into cigarettes. If you smoke, these are just some things you’re putting into your body:

·                     Tar. See those yellow stains on a smoker’s teeth? The same chemical is used to pave streets!

·                     Cyanide. This is used to make rat poison.

·                     Formaldehyde. This preserves dead bodies. Yuck!

·                     Benzene. Helps your car run, because it’s also used to make gasoline.

·                     Acetone. You can use it to take off your nail polish, but you also inhale it when you smoke cigarettes. Gross!

·                     Ammonia. You clean your house with this chemical.

Besides these ingredients, cigarettes also have nicotine, t he drug that makes it hard to quit smoking

 

Tobacco Questionnaire

Pick the correct answer for each question.

 

1. Smoking is harmful only if you smoke for a long time -- 20 to 30 years or more.

a)True              b)False

 

2. If you smoke a pack a day for one year, it will cost you about:

a)$50               a)$1,500          c)$1000           d)$3,000

 

3. Nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive.

a)True              b)False

 

4. Spit tobacco is a safe and non-addictive alternative to cigarettes.

a)True              b)False

 

5. Which of the following chemicals are found in cigarette smoke?

a)Ammonia (used to clean toilets)        b)Cyanide (used to kill rats)     c)Formaldehyde (used to preserve dead frogs)   d)All of the above

 

6. More than 80% of smokers start before they turn:

a)18 years old b)21 years old c)25 years old

 

7. How many young people become new smokers each day?

a)1,000            b)2,000           c)3,000

 

8. Tobacco kills more people each year than which of the following causes of death?

a)Illegal drugs   b)Car crashes              c)AIDS            d)All of the above

 

9. Within two days of quitting smoking, your sense of taste and smell are greatly improved.

a)True              b)False

 

10. What is the number one source of pollution on California beaches?

a)Oil slicks       b)Hospital waste          c)Cigarette butts

 

 

Quiz Answers

1. False. The physical damage from smoking sets in almost immediately -- even within a year after you start. Teen smokers cough and wheeze more. They produce more phlegm (yuck!). They have lungs that are damaged and actually smaller. They have weaker hearts. They perform worse in physical fitness tests and competitive sports. And they get sick and miss school more often.

2. $1000. It will cost you about $1000 in one year if you smoke a pack of cigarettes each day. Think of what you could do with all that dough: Play 2,000 video-arcade games; or talk on the phone to your friend in another state for more than 100 hours! It's boring, we know, but if you put $1000 every year in a bank account earning 5 percent interest, you'd have $34,719.25 after 20 years. That's some serious cash!

3. True. Nicotine in cigarettes has been shown to be highly addictive. About two-thirds of young smokers say they want to quit smoking, and seven in 10 say they regret having started. Three out of four teens who are daily smokers say they keep smoking because it's really hard to quit. When they do try to quit, they suffer the same withdrawal symptoms ("the crazies") as adults who try to quit. And nicotine addiction can fool you: Only 5 percent of teen smokers think they will definitely be smoking in 5 years, but close to 75 percent end up still smoking 7-9 years later.

4. False. Spit tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco) is not a safe and non-addictive alterative to cigarettes. Using spit tobacco can cause cracked lips, bleeding gums, and sores of the mouth that never heal. It can stain your teeth a yellowish-brown color and give you bad breath. Worst of all, use of spit tobacco can cause mouth cancer and other kinds of cancer. It also may play a role in heart disease and stroke. Like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, and nicotine is addictive. One "dip" of smokeless tobacco can deliver as much nicotine as several cigarettes.

5. All of the above. Scientists estimate that there are more than 4,000 known chemical compounds in cigarette smoke. More than 40 of these are known to cause cancer in people or animals. Spit tobacco, even though it is not smoked, contains high concentrations of cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines, plus at least a half dozen other chemicals that cause cancer.

6. 18 years old. More than 80% of adult smokers started before they turned 18, and by that time more than half of them were already smoking daily. Among high school seniors who use spit tobacco, about three in four had tried it by grade 9. Hardly anyone starts using tobacco as an adult. So if you make it through your teens tobacco-free, chances are great you'll be tobacco-free for life.

7. 3,000. Each day 6,000 young people will take their first puff on a cigarette and 3,000 will become regular smokers. That's more than a million new smokers each year. One out of three of them will die from a disease caused by their smoking. Unless we do something to stop this trend, 5 million young people who are alive today will die from using tobacco.

8. All of the above. Each year smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides, and fires -- combined! More than 400,000 people die from smoking each year -- one out of every five deaths in the U.S. That's the same as three fully loaded jumbo jets crashing each day with no survivors!

9. True. Within two days of quitting smoking, your sense of taste and smell can be greatly improved. There are other immediate benefits of quitting. The levels of carbon monoxide and nicotine in your body go down quickly. Your heart and lungs will begin to repair the damage done by smoking. You'll begin to breathe easier. Your smoker's cough will begin to disappear. And you'll soon notice a boost in your energy and stamina.

10. Cigarette butts. Littering beaches and the countryside is only one way that cigarettes harm the environment. Nearly 12.5 million acres of forest -- more than 10 Grand Canyons -- are destroyed each year to provide trees to cure tobacco. That's about a tree every two weeks for the average smoker. Secondhand smoke is another environmental menace. It fills the air with many of the same poisons found in the air around toxic waste dumps. And it's deadly: Secondhand smoke kills about 3,000 nonsmokers each year from lung cancer.

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