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.)
- 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.