According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CDC), tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and causes more than 440,000 deaths each year. Every day, nearly 4,000 young people under the age of 18 try their first cigarette.
    The Prevention Programs and Alternative Education Department has compiled information on the various health risks of tobacco and ways you can help prevent its use and help those who are already addicted to stop.
    Basic Health Consequences
    • Slows the growth and development of the lung
    • Causes cough production
    • Increases respiratory illnesses
    • Increases carbon monoxide in the blood which robs the blood of oxygen
    • Decreases athletic ability
    • Changes fat content in blood to favor early coronary heart disease
    • Stains the lungs black
    Additional Tobacco Facts
    • All tobacco products have nicotine. Nicotine is a poison.
    • Cigarette smoke has more than 4,000 chemicals in it.
    • Smokers as young as 18 have shown signs of heart disease.
    • Using tobacco damages the parts of your lungs that carry oxygen to your heart.
    Actions Parents Can Take
    • Talking directly to children about the risks of tobacco use
    • Talking about tobacco use to children at age 5 or 6 and continuing through their high school years (Many kids start using tobacco by age 11 and many are addicted by age 14)
    • Rehearsing ways that your chilid can refuse the offer of tobacco
    • Discussing the false glamorization of tobacco in the media