What is Tobacco?

Nicotine is the main drug in tobacco. It is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the United States. Nicotine acts as both a stimulant and a sedative to the central nervous system.

Street names:

Cancer Sticks, Chew, Cigarettes, Dip, Fags, Smokes

Did you know?

  • New studies show that tobacco advertising is a major reason that teens start to smoke.
  • Half of all high school girls who smoke do it to lose weight.vii
  • It is extremely difficult to quit smoking.

Dangerous because:

  • Smoking harms every organ in the body.
  • Nicotine, the drug in cigarettes, is addictive.
  • Smoking increases the probability of using drugs or alcohol (source: New Hampshire YRBS).
  • 90% of lung cancer is due to cigarette smoking. Smoking causes many other kinds of cancer including kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia.
  • Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Smoking is a major cause of stroke.
  • Second-hand smoke has been shown to cause lung cancer in adults, and to increase the risk of asthma in children. It can also contribute to sudden infant death syndrome.viii

Signs of use:

  • Smell of cigarettes on clothes and hair
  • Yellowing of teeth and fingers that hold cigarettes

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