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Health Impact of Tobacco
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. About 480,000 people die every year from a tobacco-related illness, including 42,000 non-tobacco users. Secondhand smoke is just as dangerous as smoking; no amount of smoke is safe. Babies and children exposed to secondhand or thirdhand smoke are also at risk of becoming ill.
Risks From Smoking
SMOKING CAN DAMAGE EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY
The thousands of chemicals found in tobacco smoke can affect nearly every organ in the body causing many diseases and reducing the health of smokers in general.
More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, fires, suicides, and murders combined.
Women Who Smoke
Reproductive Health Problems
Compromised immune system
Less likely to breast feed
5 of the top 15 causes of infant mortality are attributed to smoking during pregnancy
35% higher fetal mortality rate
1.5 to 3.5 times more likely to be low-birth weight an average of 200 gram less than infants born to non-smokers
Exposure in utero may increase likelihood of becoming a smoker
Decrease lung development & function
Impact On Fetus
Impact On Youth
Faster addiction caused by brains still in development
Children and adolescents who live in smoke-free homes 74% less likely to be smokers.
5.6 million children under age 18 alive today will eventually die from smoking-related disease, unless current rates are reversed.
Men Who Smoke
Reproductive Health Problems
Reproductive health Problems
Smoking can affect men’s sperm
Can increase risks for birth defects and miscarriage.
Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of the cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers.
Secondhand smoke contains about 7,000 chemicals and over 70 are cancer-causing chemicals.
There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke.
The U.S. Surgeon General reports released in 2006 and 2010 stated that secondhand smoke is a Class A carcinogen, with no safe level of exposure.
Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at the workplace are at an increased risk of developing:
Lung cancer (20-30%)
Coronary heart disease (25-30%)
41,000 nonsmokers die every year from exposure to tobacco smoke.
non-smokers die from smoke
Children and Secondhand Smoke
About 4 out of 10 U.S. children aged 3–11 years (40.6%) are exposed to secondhand smoke.
56% NJ students 9-12th grade nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke.
8-13% of asthma cases in children <15 years
Increases frequency of episodes and severity of symptoms
200,000-1 million asthmatic children are affected by SHS
Possible problems with cognitive functioning and behavioral development
More likely to become smokers
Are more likely to suffer from: Ear infections, Bronchitis, Pneumonia
Thirdhand smoke refers to the toxins from cigarette smoke that stick to soft surfaces.
Through thirdhand smoke, people can be exposed to the same toxins found in tobacco smoke.
Low levels of toxins can build up to dangerous levels in the body. This can cause learning problems for children.
Thirdhand smoke can stay on unwashed surfaces for days, weeks, even months.
The Nicotine Nightmare
Tobacco products are designed to be addicting. Nicotine is the addictive chemical found in all tobacco products including most e-cigarettes. Nicotine is known to be as addictive as cocaine and heroin. Nicotine can cause both physical and mental addiction, making quitting difficult.
Addiction is Powerful
Three components of addiction:
A physical craving for tobacco and withdrawal symptoms may be present in the absence of the drug
The use is ritualistic and done without thought
The belief that the user cannot function without the habit
Nicotine & Youth
Nicotine is dangerous and highly addictive for youth at any age because the brain is still developing.
Nicotine effects brain circuits that control attention, learning, mood, impulse control, and increase susceptibility to addiction and other drugs use.
The Cycle Nicotine Addiction
When nicotine is drawn into the lungs, it only takes 7 – 10 seconds for the nicotine to be delivered to the brain.
Once the nicotine is in the brain, the pleasurable effects, such as relaxation and happiness are released.
The brain develops nicotine receptors that multiply over time depending on the length of time and amount a person smokes.
It only takes about two hours before the nicotine receptors want more and withdrawal starts.
Nicotine is NOT a relaxant; it is a stimulant that raises blood pressure, pulse, and heart rate.
Beware of Vaping
Over the last decade, smoking rates have dropped, but a new generation of people are experimenting with e-cigarettes
(also known as vape pens or JUUL)
without being aware of the health risks and the potential for a stronger addiction to nicotine.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered heating devices originally used to deliver liquid nicotine in the form of an aerosol.
E-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless "water vapor". The aerosol from e-cigarettes emit dangerous toxins such as heavy metals, ultrafine particulate, and cancer-causing agents.
E-cigarettes also contain propylene glycol or glycerin flavorings.
Some E-cigarettes manufacturers claim these ingredients are safe because the meet the FDA definition of "Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for food additives NOT inhalation.
Effects of these inhaled ingredients are largely unknown
Lung inflammation and disease (i.e.: Popcorn Lung)
75% of e-cigarette flavors tested contained diacetyl
Currently e-cigarettes are not an approved method to quitting smoking.
NJ Quitline doesn’t recommend using e-cigarettes to quit smoking, but will offer support to help NJ residents quit vaping as well.
Over 5.4 million youth are current e-cig users.
1 in 4 U.S. High School Students (27.5%)
1 in 10 Middle School Students (10.5%)
E-cigarettes have been the most commonly tobacco product used among youth since 2014
Increased Use & Trends
In 2019, More than one-third (34.2%) of high school e-cigarette users now report using 20 or more days per month, while 18% of middle school users report such frequent use
In 2019, 64% of high schoolers who used e-cigarettes reported using mint or menthol flavored products. That’s a 13% increase from last year.