U P P E R S:


What is it? Tobacco is a plant whose leaves are dried and prepared for smoking, chewing, or sniffed up the nose as snuff (a powder). The active ingredient of tobacco is nicotine, a very strong drug.

How does it make you feel? Smoking a first cigarette can make a person feel light-headed (high) and slightly sick to their stomach. After several hours of smoking (which might be 1 or 2 cigarettes every day for a week) the body "gets used to" the nicotine. When that happens the smoker needs to keep smoking just to feel "normal."

What does it do to your body? Nicotine closes down blood vessels while it pumps up the heart rate and blood pressure. It makes the smoker more alert while it decreases the appetite. It can dull a person's sense of taste and smell. It also irritates the lungs and makes the smoker cough. Cigarette smoking yellows the teeth and makes the skin age more quickly. It can also cause permanent lung damage, irregular heartbeat, and cancer of the lungs, mouth, tongue, and throat.
Second hand smoke. (That's any cigarette smoke in the air from other people's cigarettes). Less than fifteen years ago people used to be able to smoke in airplanes, elevators, and movie theaters. Even in banks, post offices, hospitals, and office buildings. But since scientific research proved that second-hand smoke can cause serious health problems for non-smokers, laws have been passed protecting the rights of non-smokers by restricting smoking in certain public indoor spaces.
How easy is it to become "used to" the nicotine? All drugs are poison to your body. But because your body is so amazingly devoted to keeping you alive, it can become "tolerant" to having poison in it. Even though people have known for a long time that cigarette smoking causes cancer we've only recently realized how addictive nicotine is. So how addictive is it?

Nicotine is the most addicting drug there is.(That's pretty addictive!)

Most adult smokers started when they were between the ages of 12-15. They figured they could stop whenever they wanted to. But by the time they tried to stop, they found out they couldn't.

320,000 American die each year because of nicotine addiction. And worldwide, cigarette smoking causes more health problems than anything else. But even so... every day 3,000 American teens decide to smoke their first cigarette.

What's an overdose like? There is no medical evidence that the body will shut down from too much nicotine. The most negative effect of nicotine (cancer) comes from long term use.

What's withdrawal like? Many many people really want to stop smoking. You probably know some teens and adults who have tried and then gone back to it. Why? Because when they stop smoking for even less than a day they feel really sick. When they don't have their cigarettes, they feel so lousy they want to smoke again just to stop the headaches, major crankiness, nervousness, and inability to sleep. The few lucky ones who manage to quit, go through withdrawal, and successfully come out the other side, say they never lose their craving for nicotine.

Is it legal? As of February 28, 1997 it is illegal for someone under 18 to buy cigarettes in the U.S. It is also illegal for someone over 18 to buy cigarettes for someone under 18. As of August 28, 1997, cigarette vending machines will be outlawed in places where minors have access (like convenience stores). Outdoor advertising within 1000 feet of schools, playgrounds will also be illegal.



If you think you may have a problem with cigarettes or know someone who does...

call the Teen Smokers Hot line at 1-800-7NOBUTTS


Getting High Naturally

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