Below is from teensdrugabuse.org
When people are addicted, they have a compulsive need to seek out and use a substance, even when they understand the harm it can cause. Tobacco products—cigarettes, cigars or pipes, and smokeless tobacco—all can lead to addiction. Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, and most people that use tobacco want to quit. In fact, nearly 35 million people make a serious attempt to quit each year. Unfortunately, most who try to quit on their own relapse—often within a week.
Is Nicotine Addictive?
Yes. It is actually the nicotine in tobacco that is addictive. Each cigarette contains about 10 milligrams of nicotine. Because the smoker inhales only some of the smoke from a cigarette, and not all of each puff is absorbed in the lungs, a smoker gets about 1 to 2 milligrams of the drug from each cigarette. Although that may not seem like much, it is enough to make someone addicted.
Is Nicotine the Only Harmful Part of Tobacco?
No. Nicotine is only one of more than 4,000 chemicals, many of which are poisonous, found in the smoke from tobacco products. Smokeless tobacco products also contain many toxins, as well as high levels of nicotine. Many of these other ingredients are things we would never consider putting in our bodies, like tar, carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde, and nitrosamines. Tar causes lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial diseases. Carbon monoxide causes heart problems, which is one reason why smokers are at high risk for heart disease.
How Is Tobacco Used?
Tobacco can be smoked in cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. It can be chewed or, if powdered, sniffed. “Bidis” are an alternative cigarette. They come originally from India and are hand-rolled. In the U.S., bidis are popular with teens because they come in colorful packages with flavor choices. Some teens think that bidis are less harmful than regular cigarettes, but in fact they have more nicotine, which may make people smoke more, giving bidis the potential to be even more harmful than cigarettes. Hookah—or water pipe smoking—practiced for centuries in other countries, has recently become popular among teens as well. Hookah tobacco comes in many flavors, and the pipe is typically passed around in groups. Although many hookah smokers think it is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, water pipe smoking still delivers the addictive drug nicotine and is at least as toxic as cigarette smoking.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Between 1964 and 2004, cigarette smoking caused an estimated 12 million deaths, including 4.1 million deaths from cancer, and 5.5 million deaths from cardiovascular diseases.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimates that smoking caused health costs total $10.47 per pack sold and consumed in the U.S. Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, June 28, 2011
About one-third of all people who try nicotine, even once, become addicted to it. When nicotine is absorbed in the lungs or through the mucous membranes of the mouth it is quickly moved through the blood stream, where it is circulated throughout the brain. In fact, nicotine reaches the brain within 8 seconds after someone inhales tobacco smoke.
- Bad breath, smelly hair and clothes, stained or yellow teeth, elevated heart rate, chronic cough, decreased lung capacity, increased risk of other drug addiction, addiction.
Long Term Effects
- Premature wrinkled skin, permanent gum and tooth loss, chronic bronchitis, weakened immune system, stomach ulcers, abnormal sperm cells and impotence, high blood pressure, heart attacks, blocked blood vessels and strokes, cancer of the upper lung, throat and mouth, cancer of the bladder, kidney, pancreas, and cervix; emphysema, chronic obstructive lung disease
- Each day in the United States, approximately 4,000 adolescents aged 12-17 try their first cigarette.
- Each year cigarette smoking accounts for approximately 1 of every 5 deaths, or about 438,000 people. Cigarette smoking results in 5.5 million years of potential life lost in the United States annually.
What Are We Doing About the Problem?
School efforts: We work closely with schools on data collection and the development of effective prevention and intervention programs. The coalition administers the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention (KIP) Survey to 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students throughout Fayette County every other year to track behaviors and attitudes. The coalition also designed a longitudinal study to track parent attitudes as their teens progress through high school. Using this data, targeted efforts are designed to help schools and replicate effective programs.
Resources:The coalition makes available outside resources to assist teachers:
- UK College of Nursing Students – Nursing students will work with schools on tobacco prevention, intervention and cessation programs. These are offered on a semester basis. Contact Kacy Allen Bryant at email@example.com for details.
- Fayette County Health Department –The health department offers several in-school programs, including TATU (Teens Against Tobacco Use) which involves high-school students going into middle and elementary classrooms; NOT (Not On Tobacco), and other nutrition and wellness presentations which can be tailored to meet the individual classroom needs. Contact Allison Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- Bluegrass Prevention Center – The alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention program of Bluegrass Regional MHMR Board, Inc. has trained professionals who can provide resources and information that is appropriate for youth and parent presentations.
What You Can Do To Help
Join the Tobacco Committee of the Mayor’s Alliance and Fayette ASAP Board
Be aware of the Fayette Co. Public Schools policy around tobacco use.
Nicotine meets the criteria of a highly addictive drug. Nicotine is a potent psychoactive drug that induces euphoria, serves as a reinforcer of its use, and leads to nicotine withdrawal syndrome when it is absent. As an addictive drug, nicotine has 2 very potent issues: it is a stimulant and it is also a depressant. For example, one smoker talked too lovingly about her cigarettes that are called her “best friend.” They got her going in the morning, and they chilled her out during the day.
Local, state and national tobacco treatment resources are included for users who would like to quit.
Kentucky’s Tobacco QuitLine
One-on-one counseling in English or Spanish
9 a.m. – 9 p.m., M – F
Toll free 1-800-Quit Now (1-800-784-8669)
Kentucky Clinic Pharmacy
Counseling, nicotine replacement therapies,
(click “Ask a Pharmacist”)
Fayette County Health Department
Adult and Youth Tobacco Cessation Programs
Kentucky Cancer Program
Cooper/Clayton Method to Stop Smoking
Available in 120 Kentucky counties
Toll free 1-866-495-9888
Did you know that tobacco smoke is dangerous for nonsmokers, too? Go to Secondhand smoke: What you should know to learn more at Secondhand smoke: What you should know
National Cancer Institute’s Quitline
Tobacco counseling in English and Spanish
Toll free 1-877-44U-QUIT
Smoking cessation references
Free Information from UK Healthcare
UK HealthCare also offers the following informative brochures from the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health that explain the health effects of using tobacco and ways to quit:
- Why Do You Smoke?
- The Smoke Around You: Secondhand Smoke in the Workplace, Public Places, and Home
- Living Smoke-free for You and Your Baby
- Cold Hard Facts About Dip
- Questions About Smoking, Tobacco, and Health…And the Answers
- Deciding How to Quit: A Smoker’s Guide
- Spit Tobacco: A Guide for Quitting
To request a free copy of any of these publications, call UK Health Connection at 859-257-1000 or toll-free 1-800-333-8874.
KRS438.313 Distribution of tobacco products to persons under age 18 prohibited
This Kentucky law carries fines to any person who distributes cigarettes or tobacco products including samples to anyone under the age of 18.
KRS438.311 Unlawful acts by minors to purchase or receive tobacco products
Under this Kentucky law, it is illegal for a person under the age of 18 to purchase or accept receipt of tobacco products and includes fines and community service.