Truth About Tobacco
Chewing Tobacco, Tobacco
Butts, Coffin Nails,
Fags, Snuff, Chew, Nicotine, Chaw, Stogies, Skag, Gasper, Cig, Smoke, Pill,
Get the Facts
Tobacco damages your
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
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
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.
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'
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:
Smelly hair and clothes
Yellow-stained teeth and fingers
Decreased senses of smell and taste
Difficulty keeping up with sports and athletic activities
Bleeding gums (smokeless tobacco)
Frequent mouth sores (smokeless tobacco)
Doesn't smoking help you relax?
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.
Isn't smokeless tobacco safer to use than cigarettes?
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.
Isn't smoking sexy?
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
Do you know what’s in
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:
See those yellow stains on a smoker’s teeth? The same chemical is used to pave
This is used to make rat poison.
This preserves dead bodies. Yuck!
Helps your car run, because it’s also used to make gasoline.
You can use it to take off your nail polish, but you also inhale it when you
smoke cigarettes. Gross!
You clean your house with this chemical.
Besides these ingredients,
cigarettes also have nicotine, t he drug that makes it hard to quit smoking
Pick the correct answer for
1. Smoking is harmful only if
you smoke for a long time -- 20 to 30 years or more.
2. If you smoke a pack a day
for one year, it will cost you about:
a)$1,500 c)$1000 d)$3,000
3. Nicotine in tobacco is
4. Spit tobacco is a safe and
non-addictive alternative to cigarettes.
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?
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.
10. What is the number one
source of pollution on California beaches?
a)Oil slicks b)Hospital
waste c)Cigarette butts
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.