7 Questions Adolescents Have About Tobacco

Addiction researchers answer teens' questions about cigarettes and chewing tobacco.


Sal - Ephrata - Does chew or smoking affect your body more

Ivan Montoya - This is a really good question! Both chewing and smoking affect your body. Nicotine is the drug in tobacco leaves. Whether someone smokes, chews, or sniffs tobacco, he or she is delivering nicotine to the brain. Chewing tobacco can cause damage to gum tissue and even loss of teeth. It also reduces a person's ability to taste and smell. Most importantly, smokeless tobacco contains cancer causing-chemicals that can cause cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus. This can even happen in very young users of chewing tobacco. In fact, most people who develop these cancers were users of chewing tobacco. While inhaling a cigarette, smokers are pulling more than nicotine into their lungs. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals. Besides nicotine, the most dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke are tar and carbon monoxide. Tar causes lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial diseases. Carbon monoxide causes heart problems; smokers are at high risk for heart disease. For more information on smoking or tobacco please go to: http://teens.drugabuse.gov/facts/facts_nicotine1.asp#what_is_it aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa - Marlington local - Can you get high off of secondhand smoking?

Ivan Montoya - Good question. You can have effects due to secondhand smoking. It has been reported that secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke. Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and can irritate and damage the lining of the airways. Even brief exposure can result in upper airway changes in healthy persons and can lead to more frequent and more asthma attacks in children who already have asthma. You can find more information about secondhand smoke at: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/secondhandsmoke/factsheets/factsheet6.html