Tobacco is made from the leaves of tobacco plants. It contains nicotine, which is an addictive drug that can cause users to become dependent on tobacco. Cigarette smoking, a form of tobacco use, remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.
Why it's dangerous
- Nicotine is the chemical that makes tobacco addictive or habit-forming. It is one of over 7,000 chemicals found in cigarettes. Once we smoke, chew, or sniff tobacco, nicotine goes into our bloodstream and our brain craves more. A nicotine addiction can cause:
- • Coronary heart disease
- • Stroke
- • Lung cancer
- • Lung diseases (e.g., emphysema, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis)
- • Narrowing or weakening of important blood vessels
- • Nicotine poisoning
- • Nicotine is as addictive as heroin and cocaine.
- • Teens can experience tobacco dependence within a day of first inhaling.
- • Smoking leads to diseases and disability and harms nearly every organ in the body.
- • Nicotine can be extracted from the leaves of the tobacco plant or produced synthetically.
Make no mistake, nicotine is a stimulant that speeds up the messages traveling between the brain and the body. Furthermore, e-cigarettes/vapes contain nicotine, a drug that is highly addictive.
A: Vapes contain nicotine which is the same product found in cigarettes and other tobacco products. Vaping is not safer.
A: Physical effects of nicotine include:
• Rapid heartbeat
• Increase blood pressure
• Shortness of breath
• Greater likelihood of colds and flu
• Brain development can be affected, even in older teens
A: Nicotine is rapidly absorbed after ingestion and inhalation. In young children, anything greater than .5 mg of nicotine has been associated with signs of poisoning. Any child ingesting more than one whole cigarette or more than 3 butts requires medical attention.
A: Michigan changed the legal age to 21 in July 2022 to comply with federal regulations. Those who start smoking or vaping before age 21 have the hardest time breaking the habit.