Read this section to learn more about why people use tobacco and the risks involved.

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What is tobacco?

Tobacco is a plant that contains highly addictive nicotine and other harmful substances. Tobacco is used in many ways – including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and burning in a pipe.

Why do people use tobacco?

People use tobacco for many reasons. Some feel that tobacco helps them to relax or cope with stress. Many people start smoking at a young age and have trouble quitting because they are addicted to the nicotine.

Risks of tobacco                                                                                              

In BC, nearly 6,000 people die every year from smoking-caused illnesses. There are over 70 chemicals in tobacco smoke that are carcinogenic (chemicals that cause cancer). More than 85% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. Tobacco smoke can also affect the health of people near a smoker –“second hand smoke”.

The use of tobacco increases the risk of many diseases and conditions such as:

  • cancer (lung, mouth, throat, bladder, stomach, kidney, esophagus, pancreatic and leukemia)
  • respiratory diseases bronchitis, chronic coughing, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • difficulty breathing
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • nicotine addiction (even for occasional smokers)

Quitting Tobacco

One of the best things you can do for your health is to quit smoking or using other tobacco products. For help on your journey to become smoke-free visit, quitnow.ca

What Next?

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