Regional Health In Focus: Tobacco and E-Cigarettes

Tobacco Use…

..might be on the decline in the United States, but cigarette smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death and disability across the country. More than 16 million Americans have a disease caused by smoking. 1

In the North Country, 1 out of 6 adults smoke cigarettes, and nearly 1 in 4 adults use any tobacco product — including cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco. 2

e-cigarettesEven those who don’t smoke are affected by tobacco use. Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to roughly 41,000 deaths among non-smoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year. Secondhand smoke causes many of the same diseases that smoking does, including: stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease. 3

Some types of tobacco include: cigarettes, cigars, hookah, and smokeless tobacco (chew).

E-Cigarettes & Vapes…

…are tobacco products that have become popular in the US in recent years. These devices produce a vapor by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine (the addictive drug found in regular cigarettes ), flavorings, and other chemicals.

E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among teenagers. In 2018, more than 27% of high school students in New York State used e-cigarettes — that’s more than 1 in 4 students!

While many believe e-cigarettes and vapes are a safe alternative to traditional tobacco products, they are not. Continue reading to learn more about the health effects of vaping.

How can vaping affect my health?

Research in this field is ongoing; however, studies have found that…

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive.
Nicotine is also a health danger for pregnant women and their developing babies, and is harmful to adolescent brain development, which continues into the mid-20s. The most popular vape device, called JUUL, contains 20 cigarettes (about one pack) worth of nicotine. 4
Some vapes contain lead, nickel, tin, silver, formaldehyde, manganese, toluene...
…and other chemicals linked to cancer and central nervous system problems. 5
Those who vape are 4X more likely to start smoking cigarettes.
E-cigarettes do not emit 'harmless water vapor'...
…but aerosols which are ultra-fine particles that can get deep into the lungs. Although the aerosol usually contains fewer harmful chemicals than cigarettes, they are still not safe. The Food and Drug Administration has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit. 6
Unintended injuries can also occur...
…as defective batteries can cause fires and explosions. Swallowing, breathing or absorbing e-cigarette liquid is toxic.

What can you do?

One of the most beneficial decisions you can make for your health is to avoid smoking, vaping and other tobacco products.
  • If you already use tobacco, it’s not too late to quit and regain your health and wellness! Every day without a cigarette allows your body to regain its strength. If you are ready to quit tobacco, you can find support by dialing 1-866-NY-QUITS or online at For local individual and/or group counseling, contact Beth Gero (Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist) at 315-250-1305.
  • Parents, guardians, and teachers should talk to children and teens about tobacco use, making sure to emphasize that e-cigarettes are NOT safe alternatives to traditional cigarettes.

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