Tobacco Fact #1: People are still smoking across the lifespan.
While there has been remarkable decline in the number of people smoking and women smoking during pregnancy, much works remains to be done in tobacco cessation and preventing tobacco use initiation. Annually, in the United States, nearly 42 million people smoke. This is one of every five Americans classifying themselves as current smokers.
Tobacco Fact #2: Quitting tobacco does not worsen mental health symptoms.
Persons with mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders are nicotine dependent at rates 2-3 times higher than the general population. Persons with mental illnesses can quit tobacco use and do not experience a worsening of symptoms. Intensive counseling along with pharmacotherapy has proven effective in tobacco cessation with quit rates comparable to the general population. Download the CDC Vital Signs Fact Sheet on Adult Smoking and Mental Illness.
Tobacco Fact #3: Infrequent, social smoking causes death and disease.
The scientific evidence supports that there is no risk-free level of tobacco use, whether from conventional tobacco products or other combustible products. Even an occasional cigarette or exposure to secondhand smoke is harmful.
Tobacco Fact #4: E-Cigarettes are not safe alternatives to traditional cigarette smoking.
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide doses of nicotine, propylene glycol, flavorings, and other additives to the users in an aerosol. To date, there has been little research on the safety of e-cigarettes. Another concern is that there is little regulation of product standards. What we do know is that nicotine is addictive and does have adverse health effects. Just as there is no risk-free level of tobacco use, there is no safe level of nicotine use, whether from traditional tobacco products or electronic cigarettes and other non-combustible products. It is strongly advised that people not use electronic cigarettes.
Tobacco Fact #5: Smoking outside does not eliminate the dangers of secondhand smoke.
There is no risk free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Even brief contact with involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke causes harm. Concentrations of many cancer-causing and toxic chemicals are higher in secondhand smoke than in the smoke inhaled by smokers.
Tobacco Fact #6: Brief tobacco cessation counseling increases quit rates.
Counseling sessions as brief as 3 minutes can increase cessation rates for non-pregnant smokers. For pregnant women, counseling sessions as brief as 5 to 15 minutes are proven effective. You don’t have to go it alone! Counseling delivered by a variety of clinician types, including physicians and non-physicians, increases quit rates. For non-pregnant women, the most effective approach is a combination of tobacco cessation counseling and pharmacotherapy. For pregnant women, the most effective approach is a combination of tobacco cessation counseling and self-help materials.