Tobacco Active Chemicals:
Tobacco is most commonly smoked in cigarettes. Nicotine is the substance in tobacco, which reinforces and strengthens the desire to smoke.

Street Names:
Sot weed, coffin nails, butts, squares, smokes, cancer sticks.

Smoked, chewed, “dipped,” or rubbed into the gums.

Plant leaves processed into cigarettes, cigars, pipe or rolling tobacco, or smokeless products.

Immediate effects:
Increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Nausea and dizziness with first use. Decrease in appetite. Tobacco can act as both a stimulant and a depressant.

Long-term effects:
Highly addictive. The smoking of tobacco products is the chief avoidable cause of death in America, with 30% of cancer deaths linked with its use. Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to contract heart disease, as well as lung, mouth, throat, esophageal, bladder, pancreatic, and kidneys cancers. Chronic, obstructive lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis are10 times more likely for smokers than nonsmokers.

Pregnant smokers risk spontaneous abortion, preterm birth, low birth weight, and fetal or infant death.

Nervousness, restlessness, sleep disturbance, sweating, reduced heart rate and blood pressure, inability to concentrate, compulsive eating, headaches, severe irritability, nicotine craving.

Signs & Symptoms: Tobacco breath, stained teeth and fingers

Did you know?

  • It has been said that tobacco in the form of cigarettes is the most addictive substance on earth. Nearly everyone who starts smoking becomes addicted.
  • Nicotine acts by stimulating and blocking receptor sites in the brain, chemical receptors in some arteries, and thermal and pain receptors in the skin and tongue.
  • Use of nicotine was forbidden in 17th century England, and, at times, conviction for selling it carried the death penalty.
  • Passive or secondary smoke has been shown to have an adverse effect on nonsmokers.