Frequently Asked Questions
Why is smoking addictive?
Tobacco contains nicotine, which is an addictive substance. It creates pleasant feelings that induces smokers to smoke more, and causes withdrawal symptoms and craving when a regular user stops using it.
Are other forms of tobacco safe to use?
No. Clove cigarettes, herbal cigarettes, “all-natural” cigarettes, bidis, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, snus (moist snuff) and hookah smoking all increase your risk of various types of cancer as well as other conditions (like heart disease). Even non-inhaled tobacco like snuff or chewing tobacco increases your risk of cancer.
Is nicotine gum safe?
Yes, if it is not overused. Although nicotine is responsible for the addictive nature of smoking, other substances in tobacco are responsible for its negative effects on our health. Nicotine replacement therapies in the forms of gum, patches, lozenges, nasal spray or inhalers help reduce a smoker’s withdrawal symptoms without exposing the user to the other harmful chemicals in tobacco.
Is it still risky to smoke just a few cigarettes a day? Or only low-tar cigarettes?
Yes. Even as few as one to four cigarettes per day can increase your risk of heart disease. Studies have not shown that the rates of lung cancer are any lower among smokers of “light” cigarettes compared to other smokers.
What happens to my body when I stop smoking?
The health benefits of becoming smoke-free keep increasing with time:
20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure drop
12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal
Within 48 hours, your chances of having a heart attack start to go down and your senses of smell and taste begin to improve
2 weeks to 3 months after quitting, your circulation improves and your lung function increases
1 to 9 months after quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease and your lungs increase their ability to clean themselves
1 year after quitting, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker’s
5 to 15 years after quitting, your stroke risk is the same as a non-smoker’s
10 years after quitting, your risk of cancers of the lung, mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease
15 years after quitting, your risk of heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.