In the United States, smoking tobacco products is one of the leading causes of preventable disease and death.

Tobacco products include cigarettes, electronic smokeless tobacco (often called e-cigs), and hookah.

Short term – Smoking tobacco products even once can impact your health by increasing your blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate.

Long term – Some health effects associated with tobacco products include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Other side effects include, eye disease, tuberculosis, immune dysfunction, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Within one year of quitting smoking, you can help lower the risk of a heart attack. After two years, you can also lower your risk for stroke similar to that of a non-smoker. Visit DBH’s website for a list of resources available.

Secondhand Smoke

Even if you do not smoke and someone in your family or friends do, the risks associated with smoking may still apply to you. Exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to asthma attacks and respiratory infections in children. In adults, secondhand smoke causes coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

Thirdhand Smoke

Thirdhand smoke occurs when residual nicotine and other toxic chemicals from tobacco products are left indoors. Thirdhand smoke is usually found on clothes, drapes, walls, carpets, and furniture. Tobacco residue builds up over time and cannot be removed by just airing out a room. In order to remove the build up the room will need to be thoroughly cleaned, sometimes by a professional.

Even though researchers are still studying the effects of thirdhand smoke exposure on children and nonsmoking adults, inhaling any level of toxins is unhealthy. Children and infants may have a higher level of exposure to thirdhand smoke since they are more likely to touch more surfaces and ingest more dust.

In 2015, 8.2% of DC high school students

smoked cigarettes.

More than 480,000 people

die every year in the United States due to cigarette smoking