For over 50 years, the United States has warned of the significant health threats of tobacco use.  Despite the slow decline in smoking, smoking still is the leading cause of preventable death. 

Over the last few years, new nicotine-delivery devices have emerged as substitutes for smoking.  Use of e-cigarettes (vaping) in particular has sky-rocketed among high-school and middle-school students who are often attracted by candy-flavors and youth-targeting marketing.  E-cigarette users and non-users alike perceive that vaping is a safe alternative to cigarettes.  The FDA came out with new guidelines in 2016 on e-cigarettes that are aimed at preventing misleading claims and prohibiting sales to youth.

WHY IT MATTERS

By now, most of know that cigarettes and cigars are linked to lung, throat, mouth, stomach and colon cancer.   But, did you also know that tobacco use of all types including smokeless tobacco, is related to heart disease, stroke, and early death? 

A male smoker’s risk of lung cancer is 23 times that of a non-smoker

Using smokeless tobacco increases risk of oral cancer by 80% and esophageal cancer by 60%

Almost all e-cigarettes contain highly-addictive nicotine.  Nicotine use during pregnancy can result in low birthweight, pre-term delivery and still birth.  Nicotine use during adolescence has been shown to have a lasting impact on memory and attention. In addition, many e-cigarettes contain toxic cancer-causing chemicals and the vapor produced from some e-cigarettes contains formaldehyde. 

 

In the U.S., tobacco use costs $193 billion in medical expenses and lost productivity each year.  It is estimated that each employee who smokes costs an employer an additional $4,056 per year in lost productivity and an additional $2,056 in higher medical expenses.  Many employers have realized that helping employees break the tobacco-habit can result have a healthy impact on the bottom line.