What is smoking and tobacco?
Tobacco is formed from the leaves of tobacco plants. It contains nicotine, which is an addictive drug. When you smoke tobacco in cigarettes, cigars or pipes, you absorb toxic and cancer-causing chemicals that affect your health.
What is tobacco?
Tobacco is made by drying leaves from tobacco plants.
Nicotine is the main chemical in tobacco. It is:
Ø highly addictive
Ø A stimulant — this means it speeds up the messages that travel between your brain and your body. Nicotine is a dangerous chemical for a number of reasons.
What is smoking?
When people smoke tobacco, they burn it so they can breathe it in or taste the smoke. People smoke tobacco in different ways:
Cigarettes - Tobacco wrapped in a roll of paper. You can buy cigarettes ready-made or you can roll your own. When you smoke a cigarette, you breathe in the smoke.
Cigars - Tobacco wrapped in a tobacco leaf or paper made from tobacco pulp.
Pipes - Loose-leaf tobacco smoked in a pipe.Tobacco smoking is that the largest preventable explanation for death and disease:
Ø Affects your health, even if you don’t breathe in the smoke
Ø Affects the people around you through your second-hand smoke
Why do people take up smoking?
Most people take up smoking as a teenager, and there are many reasons for this. For example, they may be influenced by the people around them who smoke (e.g. their family and friends). They may also be exposed to the tobacco advertising and promotion. For example, young people who are exposed to images of smoking in movies are more likely to smoke.
many people also find it hard to quit tobacco smoking, and one of the reasons for this is because nicotine is so addictive. Research shows that:
Ø first-time smokers are more likely to become addicted compared to first time users of cocaine or alcohol
Ø If you start smoking as a teenager, you are more likely to become a life-long smoker compared to those who start as an adult
Chemicals in tobacco smoke
Tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that are harmful to smokers and non-smokers. Breathing even small amounts of tobacco smoke are often harmful.
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