"We need to talk to young people about drugs and make sure they understand that drugs are dangerous, addictive substances."

John P. Walters


You may have seen someone from your family, a friend or a complete stranger, with a cigarette. Regardless, tobacco is one of the most well-known and encountered drug. So knowing exactly what it has to give, and the effects of it power is vital.

Tobacco harms every organ of the body. It affects lungs, heart, kidneys, digestive system, liver, eyes and many other vital organs in the body. When inhaled by non-smokers in the smoker's proximity, it causes coughing, phlegm and decline in the functionality of the lungs. When chewed or smoked nicotine, is absorbed into the brain via blood; creating a 'high' feeling. Because this 'high' doesn’t last long, the smoker must smoke another cigarette in order to feel it again, causing an addiction.

Tobacco use continues to rise:

  • Among adults who smoke, 68 percent began smoking regularly at age 18 or younger
  • Every day, almost 3,900 children under 18 years of age try their first cigarette, and more than 950 of them will become new, regular daily smokers. Half of them will ultimately die from their habit.
  • 1 in 3 youth smokers will eventually die from a tobacco-related disease.

Short-term effects of tobacco:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; heart rate increased due to lack of oxygen to the heart.
  • Increased blood pressure due to the formation of blood clots, causing blood vessels to become narrow.
  • Smoker's cough; coughing is your body's way of removing irritants from the body.
  • Stained teeth; chemicals like tar, nicotine and others burn and undergo chemical reaction producing sticky substances.
  • Bad breath; the chemicals in tobacco drastically reduce the formation of saliva in your mouth, causing dry mouth, thus leading to the growth of odor causing bacteria.

Long term effects:

  • Addiction and dependence- the body develops tolerance to the chemical, and thus needs an increased amount to regain the same feeling as the first time.
  • Increased risk of heart diseases- nicotine gets attached to its receptor proteins in the blood vessel and stays there and thus causes constriction of blood canals.
  • Premature aging- Smokers look older than they actually are, because of the effect of nicotine on the production and functioning of antioxidants in the body.
  • Inhibits the release of insulin- nicotine leads to the reduction of insulin released in the body.

If you or a friend struggles with tobacco addiction, here is a link for a full guide to the most effective way to quit.