Tobacco and Health

  • Studies show that people who smoke cigarettes contract colds, flu, bronchitis and pneumonia more frequently than who don’t.
  • Using tobacco products while on hormonal birth control increases the risk of having a stroke, blood clotting disease or heart attack.
  • The tobacco industry is responsible for human rights violations worldwide including child labor, lack of basic health and safety measures for workers, and promoting tobacco addiction in children.
  • Many smokeless tobacco products (such as chew or dip) contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals, putting users at a much higher risk of getting cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas.
  • Smoking cigarettes effects the body’s circulation, which can compromise its ability to heal and increases the risk of injuries like sprains and fractures.
  • The number of tobacco-related deaths in the US is higher than the number of deaths caused by illegal drug use, HIV, car crashes, alcohol abuse, murders and suicides combined.
  • A lifetime of smoking can cost between one million and two million dollars.

Environmental Impacts of Tobacco

  • The polymer acetate of filters of cigarettes are comprised of thousands of fibers that can take up to 15 years to break down. The residue from tobacco in cigarette butts releases toxins in the environment. Trillions of cigarette butts are discarded every year.
  • Tobacco crops require heavy pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer use. Chemicals from these products can be harmful to farm workers, poison livestock and food crops and seep into the soil and pollute waterways and ecological systems.
  • On average, one tree is cut down for every 300 cigarettes made, which equates to about a two-week supply for someone who smokes a pack a day.

E-Cigarettes and Vaporizers

Electronic cigarettes, often called e-cigarettes, vaporizers, or vape pens, are battery-powered handheld devices that heat up liquid cartridges to vaporize them.

  • Many e-cigarette users consume more nicotine per day than they did when they were using only conventional cigarettes. This is because people are more likely to use e-cigarettes indoors and in their cars due to the lack of the same odors that conventional cigarettes produce.
  • E-cigarettes aren’t effective at helping people quit. Many people who use e-cigarettes often continue to use regular cigarettes or other tobacco products.
  • E-cigarettes can increase germs’ resistance to antibiotics, increasing risk of contracting MRSA and antibiotic-resistant pneumonia.
  • While most e-cigarettes produce fewer carcinogens than conventional cigarettes, many still contain nicotine, formaldehyde, diacetyl, and/or other harmful chemicals.