Tobacco Use


Tobacco kills more Americans each year than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS COMBINED.  The most common diseases caused by smoking are:


  • Heart disease and stroke caused by inhaling carbon monoxide;
  • Lung cancer, caused by the carcinogens in the tar in cigarette smoke;
  • Cancer of the lip, mouth, throat, larynx, bladder, pancreas, stomach, kidney, and cervix, caused by exposure to the toxins in cigarette smoke;
  • Emphysema, caused by tar, and chronic bronchitis, caused by irritants in tobacco smoke.

 Smokers are more likely to:

  • Get colds and flu;
  • Have shortness of breath and wheezing;
  • Get cataracts and macular degeneration;
  • Have gum disease and yellow teeth;
  • Have problems getting pregnant;
  • Become impotent;
  • Have problems sleeping or falling asleep;
  • Have memory problems;
  • Develop stomach ulcers;
  • Have high blood pressure;
  • Develop emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or asthma;
  • Have diabetes complications;
  • Have circulation problems;
  • Develop premature facial wrinkles.

Think smoking only affects you?  Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis, severe asthma or behavior problems.  Adults exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to have heart disease or lung cancer.

It’s never too late to stop smoking.  Quitting takes a lot of hard work and effort, but the reward can be a longer, more satisfying life.  When you stop smoking, your body begins to repair itself immediately.

Within 20 minutes:  Blood Pressure returns to normal; heartbeat stabilizes.

Within 8 hours:  Oxygen level in your blood increases; mucous begins to clear out of your lungs making breathing easier.

Within 48 hours:  Sense of smell and taste improve; chances of heart attack decrease.

Within 3 months:  Circulation improves; immune system improves.

Within 9 months:  Sinus congestion, wheezing, shortness of breath and phlegm production decreases; lung function improves.

1 Year:  Risk of dying from a heart attack is cut in half.

5 Years:  Stroke risk is reduced to the same level as a non-smoker.

10 Years: The chances of getting lung cancer are cut in half.

For More Information on truth about smoking, contact the New York State Smokers' Quit Line at 1-866-697-8487 or visit and check out the following links:

Smoking Fact Sheet

Cancer Fact Sheet

You Can Quit Smoking

Cancer Facts about Cigar Smoking

The Truth About "Light Cigarettes"

Smokeless Tobacco and Cancer: Questions and Answers