Cigarettes and Tobacco FAQ
What are cigarettes and tobacco?
Tobacco is made from the dried leaves of a plant that contains many chemicals, including nicotine. Tobacco comes in several forms:
- Cigarettes and cigars are made by rolling tobacco leaves in paper. Tobacco companies add other chemicals to cigarettes, some of which have been linked to cancer.
- Dip, chew, and pipe tobacco are forms of pure tobacco that are sold in tins. Rolling tobacco is sold in pouches and is used to hand roll cigarettes.
What do cigarettes and tobacco do?
Cigarettes contain stimulants that increase the heartbeat and blood pressure. The most important stimulant is called nicotine. Some users
experience a mild euphoria or rush after smoking and a feeling of stress relief. Smoking may decrease the appetite.
Young smokers frequently report symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and an increase in phlegm production. In general, teen smokers have a greater susceptibility to colds and flus than nonsmokers.
How are cigarettes and tobacco used?
Cigarettes and cigars are the most popular form of tobacco. Cigarettes are inhaled into the lungs; cigars are not meant to be inhaled. The chemicals from the tobacco make their way into the user’s blood stream. Some people also put a pinch of tobacco directly into their mouth and hold it in their cheek so that the chemicals can be absorbed through the lining of the mouth and cheek.
What other names do people use for cigarettes and tobacco?
Beedi, Camel, cancer stick, chew, cig, ciggy, dip, fag, looseys, smoke, snuff, and stoge/stogie.
What are the signs of use?
Signs of smoking include the smell of smoke on your child’s clothing, skin, or hair, yellowing of the teeth, wheezing or shortness of breath, and a persistent cough.
How bad is it? What are the long term side effects?
Tobacco use is a leading cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smokers have an increased risk for heart disease, blood clots, cancer, strokes, bronchitis, emphysema, bad circulation, and ulcers. Cigar and pipe smokers and chewing tobacco users are at higher risk of developing cancers of the mouth and neck.
Teenagers who smoke are much more likely to be addicted to ciga- rettes as adults. A child who makes it to twenty-one before trying her first cigarette is virtually certain not to become addicted later in life. Teenagers who have never smoked cigarettes are also unlikely to try other drugs, including marijuana and cocaine.
How addictive is it?
Cigarettes are highly addictive, due to the nicotine found in tobacco. Some experts consider nicotine to be more addictive than heroin. People who start smoking before the age of twenty-one find it very hard to quit later in life.