skip to content

Alcohol & Drug Info

Tobacco

What is in tobacco?

Tobacco smoke is made up of 4,000 chemicals. These include nicotine, tars and gases such as carbon monoxide. Nicotine acts as a stimulant or a depressant depending on how fast you puff. Nicotine is the reason for tobacco smoking becoming a habit. Many of the tars are known to cause cancer. The gas carbon monoxide is best known as the poisonous waste product from car engines.

How does smoking affect you?

Tobacco smoke has an immediate affect on health. Nicotine increases the heart rate and causes a slight increase in blood pressure. Skin temperature is lowered and appetite lost. Also physical endurance is lessened.

What are the long term effects of smoking?

Tobacco smoking increases the risk of major health problems. Tobacco smoking is the main cause of lung cancer and also cancer of the mouth and larynx. Breathing diseases such as bronchitis, emphysema and asthma are much more likely to occur in smokers than non-smokers. Blockages of blood vessels in the heart muscle and brain are more likely. Such blockages increase the risk of serious heart attacks. The effectiveness of the smoker's immune system is reduced. Tobacco smoking also increases the likelihood of stomach ulcers.

Should you smoke during pregnancy?

Tobacco smoking affects the unborn child. Women who smoke during pregnancy have smaller babies on average than do non-smokers. There is an increased risk of premature births and a greater occurrence of miscarriages and stillbirths.

Why do people have problems stopping smoking?

Tobacco can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Tobacco smokers develop a craving for nicotine. This makes stopping smoking difficult. Withdrawal symptoms observed in people who have recently stopped smoking include sleep disturbances, tension and irritability.

Why is passive smoking a problem?

Non-smoker's health can be harmed by breathing tobacco smoke. Second-hand smoke can cause dizziness, headaches, faintness, sore eyes and throat together with nausea. The effects are increased in a small or poorly ventilated room.

Will giving up smoking make me fat?

One third of smokers who stop stay the same weight, one third lose weight and one third gain weight. The risk from smoking is greater than the risk of gaining weight.