Tobacco 101

Did you Know?

Most Americans consider smoking very harmful. (click here)

Facts to Empower

  • Almost 60 million Americans age 12 or older smoke cigarettes.1
  • 440,000 people in the U.S. die each year from smoking related-illnesses.2
  • 50% of all of smokers will die from a smoking-related illness.3
  • On average, smokers lives are shortened by 13 years.3
  • Smoking is responsible for one of every five deaths5 making it more lethal than AIDS, accidents, homicides, suicides, illegal drugs, and fires combined.4
  • Smoking is responsible for at least 30% of all cancer deaths.3
  • Smoking is responsible for almost 90% of all lung cancer deaths.4
  • Tobacco use results in an annual cost of more than $167 billion.1
  • Smokers who quit prior to the age of 35 avoid 90% of the health risks associated with tobacco use.6
  • College students smoke at higher rates than the general population, and they overestimate the number of their peers who smoke.
  • Over 70% of smokers want to quit.
  • Tobacco cessation services are underutilized by college students.
  • 1200 Americans die every day from smoking-related illness.
  • Minorities are disproportionately targeted by tobacco companies.

Good News: No matter how long a smoker has smoked, a smoker will live longer if he or she quits today! Check out our Cessation page for more information!

Nicotine - The Addiction

Nicotine is a naturally occurring drug found in tobacco. Nicotine is highly addictive—as addictive as heroin and cocaine. The pharmacologic and behavioral processes that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Regular use of tobacco products leads to addiction in a high proportion of users. Addiction is often accompanied by physical and psychological dependence on the substance. Nicotine is found in substantial amounts in all forms of tobacco. It is absorbed readily from tobacco smoke in the lungs and from oral tobacco in the mouth or nose. It rapidly spreads throughout the body.

Tobacco - The Killer 

Coming soon

Big Tobacco - The Marketers

The American Lung Association (ALA) has released a report on how Big Tobacco Companies are targeting college campuses.

Click here to see the report: Big Tobacco On Campus

Tobacco Company websites

Registering your information on these websites will give you first-hand access to the direct mail marketing that affects smokers. This includes coupons and special offers. However, if you do register as a smoker, you must provide a VALID id, and you must be ready to receive A LOT of junkmail!

RJ Reynolds marketing website:

Phillip Morris (Altria) smoker sign-up website:

Counter-Marketing websites

Cancer No. 9: Stop R.J. Reynolds from Marketing Caner to Women and Girls

More information on Camel Number 9: Special Report from Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

Helpful Links for Tobacco Information & Data

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: Smoking & Tobacco Use
American College Health Association: National College Health Assessment
YRBSS: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System: Healthy Youth!
MDQuit Resource Center compiles and analyzes Maryland data for public use:
Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium: College Tobacco Prevention Resource


  1. Stats on smoking prevalence Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings. DHHS Pub. No. SMA 05-4062, 2005.
  2. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses-U.S., 1997-2001. Vol. 54, No. 25, July 2005.
  3. American Cancer Society. Cigarette Smoking. Retrieved August, 2006 from
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Report Series, Tobacco Addiction, Retrieved August, 2006 from
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco Use in the United States. Retrieved August, 2006 from:
  6. American Cancer Society. Guide to Quitting Smoking. Retrieved August, 2007 from
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