Tobacco

Facts about TOBACCO in the U.S.

More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. For every person who dies bceause of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness.

Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 42,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.

If smoking continues at the current rate among U.S. youth, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18-years-old are expected to die prematurely from smoking-related illness. In 2015, $8.9 billion was spent on advertising and promotion of cigarettes — more than $24 billion every day and about $1 million every hour.

Out of ten deaths from lung cancer, nine are caused by smoking. In fact, out of every ten deaths from any type of cancer, three are caused by smoking. Eight out of ten deaths from heart disease are linked to tobacco use.

In the state of Tennessee, 11.5% of high school students smoke and 13.5% of male high school students use smokeless tobacco. 21.7% of high school students use e-cigarettes. Each year, 3,100 kids under 18 become daily smokers, adding to the number of adult smokers in Tennessee, which is currently 22.1% (1,138,000). Kids buy 11.5 million packs of cigarettes each year.

Each year, 11,400 Tennesseans die from smoking. If that rate continues, 125,000 kids alive today will die prematurely from smoking.

There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, they create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous.

Many of these chemicals are also found in consumer products, but these products have warning labels. While the public is warned about the danger of the poisons in these products, there is no such warning for the toxins in tobacco smoke.

Here are some of the chemicals found in tobacco products:

  • Acetone – found in nail polish remover
  • Acetic Acid –  an ingredient in hair dye
  • Ammonia – a common household cleaner
  • Arsenic – used in rat poison
  • Benzene – found in rubber cement
  • Butane – used in lighter fluid
  • Cadmium – active component in battery acid
  • Carbon Monoxide – released in car exhaust fumes
  • Formaldehyde – embalming fluid
  • Hexamine – found in barbecue lighter fluid
  • Lead – used in batteries
  • Naphthalene – an ingredient in mothballs
  • Methanol – a main component in rocket fuel
  • Nicotine – used as insecticide
  • Tar – material for paving roads
  • Toluene – used to manufacture paint
E-cigarettes, including e-pens, e-pipes, e-hookah, and e-cigars, are known collectively as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), e-cigarettes are devices that allow users to inhale an aerosol (vapor) containing nicotine or other substances. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are generally battery-operated and use a heating element to heat e-liquid from a refillable cartridge, releasing a chemical-filled aerosol.

E-cigarettes and refill liquids contain widely varying levels of nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug that can have lasting, damaging effects on adolescent brain development and has been linked to a variety of adverse health outcomes.

Delivered in high doses, nicotine can be lethal. Exposure to liquid nicotine found in e-cigarettes has caused an increased number of calls to poison control centers. The American Association of Poison Control Center (AAPCC) reports that since January of 2018 there have been over 450 calls involving exposures to e-cigarettes devices and liquid nicotine.

There is still a lot we do not know about e-cigarettes. Initial tests have found e-cigarettes not only contain varying levels of nicotine, but also cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde. How e-cigarette use might affect health, whether in the short or in the long term, is still unknown.

Smokeless tobacco is not burned, contains nicotine, and is addictive. Smokeless tobacco is typically called spit tobacco, chewing tobacco, chew, dip, plug, and other names. Types of smokeless tobacco include:

  • Chewing tobacco, which comes in the form of loose leaf, plug, or twist. The most common, loose leaf, is usually packaged in foil pouches. Chewing tobacco is placed between the cheek and gums.
  • Snuff, which is finely ground tobacco that can be dry, moist, or packaged in pouches or packets. Some types of snuff are sniffed or inhaled into the nose; other types are placed in the mouth. Moist snuff, the most common, is often called dip. It’s placed between the cheek or lip and gums and requires spitting. Snus is a newer form of moist snuff used in the U.S.
  • Dissolvable tobacco products, made from finely ground tobacco that has been pressed into shapes such as lozenges, tablets, sticks, or strips. These products slowly dissolve in the mouth.

Smokeless tobacco is not safe and can lead to nicotine addiction. Many smokeless tobacco products contain cancer-causing chemicals. Smokeless tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas. Smokeless tobacco can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Smokeless tobacco products can also increase the risk of death from heart disease and stroke.

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