Parent's Guide


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20. Facts on Tobacco

We know that smokers are 10 times as likely as non-smokers to develop lung cancer and 3 times as likely to die at early ages from heart attack. In fact, in 1985, smoking was the leading cause of early death among adults. Nicotine, the active ingredient in tobacco, is as addictive as heroin, and fewer than 20 percent of smokers are able to quit the first time they try. Despite these facts, many children use these products.

  • 9 percent of high school seniors are daily smokers; 3 percent smoke 20 or more cigarettes per day.

  • Young people who use cigarettes are also at great risk for all other drug use.

  • a high percentage of all children try cigarettes, 40 percent of them before they have reached high school.

  • Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 harmful substances, several of which cause cancer.

  • Smokeless tobacco is just as addictive and harmful as tobacco that is smoked.


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