What is tobacco?

Tobacco smoke is made with thousands of dangerous components, the main ones being Nicotine, Tar, and Carbon Monoxide. Nicotine is the active ingredient in tobacco; tar causes cancers and bronchial disorders; and carbon monoxide is linked to heart disease. Smoking is especially harmful to teens because their bodies are still developing and changing, and the 4,000 chemicals (200 known poisons) in cigarettes can greatly affect this process. Cigarettes are also very addictive, both psychologically and physically, and can be a major gateway to other forms of drug use.

Short Term

Weight loss, tooth decay, loss of breath, discolored teeth, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, increased stress levels, constricted blood vessels.

Long Term

Increased risk for lung cancer and other cancers, increased risk for heart attacks and heart disease, impaired sense of smell, decreased physical stamina, wrinkled skin, and increased risk for lung disease.​

Teens, including addicted smokers, quit smoking only when they want to do so. You can show you care and ask them how you can help. Most smokers don’t know how you can help, and will often ask to be left alone. Expressing concern and offering support can provide smokers with the determination to quit. For some smokers, nicotine gum or the patch can help fight the habit and is a good start to quit.