Tobacco

Smoking cigarettes is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.

Don't Fall into the Tobacco Trap.

Thousands of young people start smoking cigarettes every day. At the same time, over half of adult smokers are trying to quit daily. Don’t make the mistake of falling into the tobacco trap. Learn more about what tobacco does to your body, its addictive qualities, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

We encourage you to click through to the linked sources to find more detailed information—so you can make informed decisions about your health.

Is tobacco really that addictive?
Tobacco creates a nicotine dependence that involves physical and psychological factors that make it difficult to stop using tobacco, even if the person wants to quit. Nicotine releases a chemical called dopamine in the same regions of the brain as other addictive drugs. It causes mood-altering changes that make the person temporarily feel good. Inhaled smoke delivers nicotine to the brain within 20 seconds, which makes it very addictive—comparable to opioidsalcohol and cocaine
 
When the person stops using tobacco, nicotine levels in the brain drop. This change triggers processes that contribute to the cycle of cravings and urges that maintains addiction. Long-term changes in the brain caused by continued nicotine exposure result in nicotine dependence, and attempts to stop cause withdrawal symptoms that are relieved with renewed tobacco use.
 
Signs and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • difficulty concentrating
  • fatigue
How does frequent tobacco use affect your health?
According to the CDC, smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ in your body. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung damage and disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Smoking is also known to increase your risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems with the immune system. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers and is responsible for almost half a million deaths every year in the US.
 
If you think that chewing or smokeless tobacco is safer- think again. Chewing tobacco can cause many types of cancer, including cancer of the mouth, tongue, gums, stomach, oesophagus, and bladder. Heavy users can also experience unhealthy teeth ware and receding gums. It is also linked to a higher risk of heart attacks.
How can you break the addiction to tobacco?
Breaking a tobacco addiction can be extremely challenging for some. Here are common ways that people resist tobacco cravings:
  • Nicotine replacement therapy (inhalers, nicotine patches, and prescription non-nicotine stop-smoking drugs)
  • Avoiding triggering situations where you’re most drawn to using tobacco
  • Chew on sugarless gum, hard candy, or other snacks
  • Get involved in physical activities when you feel a craving
  • Try relaxing activities such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga, or massages
  • Consider counseling and/or setting up a support system to keep you accountable
  • Join a stop-smoking program online
  • Remind yourself constantly on why you want to stop smoking
Is vaping better than smoking cigarettes?
Vaping might be a better alternative in some ways to smoking cigarettes, but it can also contain serious levels of nicotine. Learn more about e-cigarettes and vapes here.

Ready to Quit?

If you smoke and are ready to quit, please click help below or check out the free programs from Project Filter that you can try.

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