Smoking, Vaping, or Chewing – What Do They Have in Common?
Nicotine is the chemical found in tobacco products that is responsible for addiction. When tobacco products are used, nicotine is quickly absorbed into the body and goes directly to the brain. Nicotine activates areas of the brain that make in individual feel happy and satisfied, making the substance highly addictive and dangerous – especially to a teen’s developing brain.
The Dangers of Nicotine in Teenagers
Nicotine addiction is dangerous because it increases the risk that a person can be a lifelong tobacco user. Long-term exposure to the harmful chemicals in tobacco products leads to many chronic health problems, including heart disease, lung disease, and numerous cancers.
Teens are more vulnerable to nicotine’s addictive effects because their brains continue to develop until the age of 25. Nicotine changes their brain in the parts responsible for attention, learning, and memory, worsening concentration, learning and impulse control. Nicotine-induced changes to the brain while it is still developing can not only lead to permanent effects on one’s ability to make decisions, but also increase one’s risk of becoming addicted to other substances.
Tobacco is a plant grown for its leaves, which are dried and used to create tobacco products. While nicotine is what addicts people to using tobacco products, it is not what makes tobacco use so harmful. Tobacco and tobacco smoke contain thousands of chemicals- including tar, carbon monoxide, lead, and arsenic- that cause serious harm to the body. Tobacco smoke also harms non-smokers as they are exposed to smoke in public and social settings. Secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke carries all the same risks as firsthand smoke. Anytime you can smell tobacco smoke you are being exposed to all the same chemicals as the smoker.
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States.
Cigarettes cause more than 480,000 premature deaths in the United States each year – from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). This represents about 1,300 deaths every day. In addition, for every one person who dies from smoking, 30 more suffer from at least one serious tobacco-related illness.
These are labeled as regular, light, or menthol, but no evidence exists that light or menthol cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes.
Cigars are often much larger than cigarettes, containing anywhere from 3 to 14 times the amount of tobacco. Also, cigars are wrapped in a tobacco leaf (whereas cigarettes are wrapped in a non-tobacco paper) which adds to the amount of tobacco being consumed.
Hookahs or water pipes
Hookah tobacco comes in many flavors, and the pipe is typically passed around in groups. A typical hookah session delivers approximately 125 times the smoke, 25 times the tar, 2.5 times the nicotine, and 10 times the carbon monoxide as smoking a cigarette.
It is typically placed between the cheek and gums.
Ground tobacco that can be sniffed if dried or placed between the cheek and gums.
Moist snuff that is used like chewing tobacco.
A small pouch of moist snuff.
Dissolvable products: These include lozenges, orbs, sticks, and strips.
Also called e-cigarettes, electronic nicotine delivery systems, vaping devices, e-cigs, or JUULing
Vaping products are battery-operated devices that deliver nicotine and flavorings without burning tobacco.
In most products, puffing activates the battery-powered heating device, which vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge. The resulting vapor is then inhaled (called “vaping”).
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