Negative Health Effects
- Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body, and it is the leading cause of preventable death.
- There is no safe level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
- Cigarette butts are the most frequently littered item. They are often mistaken as less harmful than other litter, but they contain non-biodegradable materials and toxic chemicals that can last in the environment up to 10 years, threatening our water supply and wildlife.
- The devastating health and environmental consequences of tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke are well known, and evidence shows that more people will quit in a tobacco-free environment.
People who stop smoking or the use of tobacco products greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death. According to the CDC, almost 70% of current smokers want to quit and 40% have tried at least once. Cessation is associated with numerous health benefits, including:
- Reduced risks for developing:
- Lung cancer and many other types of cancer
- Heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease
- Lung diseases (e.g. Pneumonia and COPD)
- Reduced respiratory problems (coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath)
- Reduced risk for infertility and low birth weight babies
- Healthier children in the community
- Less asthma and childhood respiratory issues from secondhand smoke
For more information and fast facts, please visit the CDC webpage on Smoking & Tobacco Use
Students and Universities
- One in five college students smoke
- More than 13% of college students started smoking in college
- Twenty percent of social smokers become daily smokers over the course of a four-year college period
- Smoke- and tobacco-free programs have been shown to help students decrease their amount of smoking or help them to quit