World No Tobacco Day 2018

Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body. More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year. Secondhand smoke causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.

Many smokeless tobacco products contain cancer-causing chemicals. The most harmful chemicals are tobacco-specific nitrosamines, which form during the growing, curing, fermenting, and aging of tobacco. The amount of these chemicals varies by product. The higher the levels of these chemicals, the greater the risk for cancer. Smokeless tobacco causes cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas. Other chemicals found in tobacco can also cause cancer. These include:

  • A radioactive element (polonium-210) found in tobacco fertilizer
  • Chemicals formed when tobacco is cured with heat (polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons—also known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
  • Harmful metals (arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, nickel, mercury)

In Montana over 1,600 people die every year from tobacco related diseases. The Montana Tobacco Quit Line is a free service that provides quit coaching by certified addiction counselors, free nicotine replacement therapy products – patches, gum, or lozenges – and reduced cost medications, Chantix o Bupropion. The Quit Line works with any nicotine addiction, including smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes. The Quit Line has services available for American Indian clients with American Indian Quit Coaches. Women who are pregnant tobacco users may also receive extended benefits and a dedicated female Quit Coach.

For more information about the MT Quit Line or any other tobacco related inquiries, please call Tobacco Use Prevention Specialist Teddy Nault at (406) 454-6950.