Myth and Facts about Tobacco

1. Myth: Tobacco is not a drug.

Fact: The nicotine found in tobacco products is very addictive. Addiction to nicotine has been compared to having an addiction to cocaine or heroin.

2. Myth: Only adults smoke cigarettes and they’re old enough to know what they are doing.

Fact: The average age a person begins smoking is at 13. The average person begins using smokeless or spit tobacco at 12 – 25 years. Most new tobacco users are adolescents, not adults.

3. Myth: Once you are addicted to tobacco, it doesn’t matter whether you quit or not.  The damage is already done.

Fact: When a person quits smoking/dipping the body immediately starts repairing itself.

  • Blood pressure and pulse rates go back to normal range after 20 minutes of not using tobacco.
  • Nerve endings start growing back and lung function improves after one week of not smoking.
  • After 10 -15 years of not smoking, risks of all tobacco related diseases are greatly reduced.

4. Myth: Smoking helps me to relax/relieve stress.   

Fact: Nicotine is a stimulant. Stimulants speed up your body; they do not calm your body down. Plus, no other drug keeps a user as busy as smoking.

For instance: in a day, a 2 pack a day cigarette smoker spends 3 to 4 hours with a cigarette in his/her mouth, hand, or ashtray.

(Remember that there are many positive ways to relax without smoking.)

More Facts:

  • A person can become addicted after just a few days of using tobacco.
  • Carbonated drinks, coffee, and alcohol can increase your craving for tobacco.
  • It takes most people 5-10 tries before they can successfully stop smoking once they start.
  • Withdrawal from nicotine can cause symptoms of irritability, insomnia, and nervousness.