What makes tobacco so
When tobacco is burned, over 4,000 chemicals and gases are released in the cigarette
smoke that goes into your body. Many of these chemicals, including carbon
monoxide, cyanide, arsenic, and lead, are poisonous. There are 3,150 chemicals
in smokeless and spit tobacco. These tobaccos do not expose you to gases
since you do not light them, but the juice from smokeless tobacco is absorbed
directly through the lining of the mouth. This causes sores and white patches
(leukoplakia) that can lead to cancer of the mouth.
Each year in the United States, tobacco accounts for over
440,000 deaths (1 in 5 of all deaths), making tobacco the #1 cause of
disease and death in this country. In Indiana, 27 persons die every day as a result of
tobacco use. Indiana has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation. Tobacco
companies have test-marketed new products in Indiana for years because of
the state’s high usage rate.
What are the signs of regular tobacco use?
Wheezing, coughing, bad
breath, smelly hair and clothes, stained teeth and fingers,
frequent colds, decreased sense of smell and taste,
gum disease, frequent mouth sores,
slow wound healing, and difficulty keeping up with sports
Isn’t it my right to smoke?
Using tobacco is not a constitutional
right. It is a health issue. Anyone who smokes puts
the health of family and friends
at risk – more than 126,000 million nonsmoking Americans are
exposed to secondhand smoke in
homes, vehicles, workplaces, and public places. Every
year in the United States, secondhand smoke is
responsible for about 3,000 deaths
from lung disease and another 22,700 to 69,600 premature
deaths from heart disease in
otherwise healthy nonsmokers. There is no safe risk level of
secondhand smoke exposure; even brief exposures can
Are menthol cigarettes less harmful than non-menthol
NO. Evidence suggests that quitting is much more
difficult for smokers of
menthol-flavored cigarettes. Menthol “numbs” your lungs, so
you can inhale deeper and hold the
Is smokeless or spit tobacco safe?
NO. Remember, “no smoke” doesn’t
mean that smokeless tobacco is safe. Even a little smokeless
contains enough nicotine to get you addicted. The use of
smokeless tobacco can lead to many
types of health problems including cancers (lip, esophagus,
pharynx, larynx, pancreas, and stomach) and oral
health problems, such as
leukoplakia (characterized by white patches and oral lesions
on the cheeks, gums, and tongue),
enamel erosion, gum disease, gingivitis, and gum ulcers.
What is an electronic cigarette or ‘e-cigarette’?
An electronic cigarette is a
battery-powered device that delivers doses of nicotine
by way of a vaporized liquid nicotine solution that
is inhaled. In July 2009, the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration issued a press release
discouraging the use
of electronic cigarettes and banning their importation.
Therefore, marketing in the U.S.
of electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and their
components as cessation aids is a
violation and is subject to enforcement action.
What about dissolvable tobacco products?
These products are being marketed
as an “alternative” to smoking. They are smokeless,
spitfree, made from finely milled
tobacco, and held together by food-grade binders.
Dissolvable tobacco products may contain up to 3
times the amount of nicotine found
in 1 cigarette. Dissolvable tobacco is not a safe
alternative to cigarettes.
If a child, teen, or adult develops symptoms (such as
vomiting or shaking) after
ingesting a dissolvable tobacco product, the Indiana Poison
Center should be called
Is waterpipe smoking, the type of smoking
place in HOOKAH bars and cafés, a healthier
to smoking cigarettes?
NO. Evidence indicates that because of
the longer, more sustained period of inhalation and
exposure, a waterpipe
user may inhale smoke that is equal to the smoke of 100 or
more cigarettes – during just one
session. Heat sources used to burn the tobacco, such as wood
cinders or charcoal, are likely to increase the
health risks from waterpipe use
because of releasing high levels of potentially dangerous
chemicals, including carbon
monoxide and metals. Also, shared mouthpieces and the
heated, moist smoke may enhance
the opportunity for infectious diseases to spread such as
tuberculosis and viruses such as herpes and hepatitis.
What methods are available to help me quit
Several non-tobacco methods or combinations of
methods have been shown to be
effective for quitting tobacco use. They include
pharmacotherapies such as nicotine
replacement therapy (NRT) and also such methods as
individual or group counseling and
What is nicotine replacement?
Nicotine replacement gives your
body some of the nicotine it’s used to getting, and can make
the physical symptoms of
withdrawal easier. You gradually reduce the amount of
nicotine you use until your body
doesn’t need it anymore. Nicotine replacement comes in
5 forms: gum, lozenges, patch, inhaler, and nasal
spray. They put nicotine into the
bloodstream without the tar, carbon monoxide, and other
toxic chemicals of cigarettes and
Will I gain weight when I quit smoking?
Many smokers gain weight when they
quit, but usually no more than 5 or 10 pounds. A healthy
diet and active lifestyle can shed
the pounds and also help you keep focused on your
main goal of quitting smoking.