A Little Tobacco-related History
Discussing the consequences of tobacco consumption, especially smoking and vaporizing, can be difficult whether it’s with your peers, siblings, parents or teachers. Tobacco consumption is an incredibly common habit around the globe, one that many continue to partake in even when knowing the negative impact it can have on their health and well-being. And coping with this societal addiction to tobacco products is nothing new. In fact, a significant portion of the U.S. economy was built on the thriving Tobacco industry early on and our relationship with the Tobacco plant itself dates much further back than that. Fortunately, society has progressed quite a bit from endorsing cigarette smoking less than a century ago when it was marketed as a “healthy” thing to do.
A Note on Vape Culture
Although regulations are now in place to ensure that the real health risks of Tobacco are conveyed, and its popularity has decreased as a result, there seems to be a new industry message that focuses on marketing “vape culture”. Vape marketing tactics are often characterized by the freedom to rebel against being told not to smoke. “It’s not smoke, it’s vapor,” is something you may hear a lot these days from people who claim vaping tobacco is not as bad for you or even healthy for you to do, relative to smoking it. As with any marketing, always be skeptical of information you are presented with. Scientific research around vaping indicates a plethora of consequences it brings, some of which are distinct to vaping only, and many of which we will dive into on this page.
An Approach to Consider
A primary objective of both the South Bay Families Connected and Pass On It projects is to strive to meet people where they are. One way to do that is to avoid judging or shaming anyone struggling with substance use or addiction. We hope you might consider the same approach with the people in your life who may be struggling with tobacco use. After all, you're concerned for them because you care about their health and longevity, right? Most experts would say that there's no productive up-side to ostracizing your friends and family members with these habits through condescending judgments. In fact, that approach can often result in the unintended consequence of increased use.
Acknowledging The Challenge
Anyone who has been there knows that it's incredibly challenging to address any substance abuse or addiction, whether with our surrounding community, with someone we care about, or with ourselves. Why is it so hard to give up something we know is holding us back? A key part of addiction is continuing a habit regardless of the negative impact it's having on your life, often through justification. This justification process is actually a biological reaction; it’s your brain’s reward system wanting to keep you addicted because it’s only thinking in the short term. Is it easy to reject what your own brain is telling you to do? Of course it’s not. It will more than likely take considerable time, hard work, and some help from others. Is it easy to address a habit that might not be noticeably affecting you in the short term, but will certainly affect you in the long term? It's common to fear addressing something that only impacts your future and not your present state, especially when we're young. So no, this isn't an easy fight. But one of the hopes of the Pass On It project and South Bay Families Connected is to let people know that they are not alone in this challenge. We're all in it together.
Facts and FAQs
We've gathered facts and information from reputable sources about tobacco and vaping. We hope you might choose topics of interest and check-out some of the links. At the bottom of this page is a link to our "Tobacco? I'll Pass" blog and video contest currently underway. Please consider participating and sharing with us your top five reasons to try to pass on Tobacco before you've even started, now, or in the future.
Q: How does tobacco deliver its effects? A: It's complex.
Q: Can smoking affect my looks? A: Yes.
“Smoking chronically deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients. So some smokers appear pale, while others develop uneven coloring. These changes can begin at a young age”
Q. Can tobacco affect my brain in the longterm? A: Yes.
Q: What does it really do to your health? A: It has numerous adverse and undeniable consequences.
Q: What about cancer in particular? A: It's undisputed that tobacco can increase the likelihood of the occurrence of many different types of cancer.
Q: Is it really addictive? A: Yes.
Q: What about chewing tobacco? A: Same
Q: Vaping and e-cigarettes are different though, right? A: Not in enough ways, and even those that claim to be tobacco free may have Nicotene and numerous dangers chemicals.
"There is a lot of concern by the public health community that e-cigarettes may be recruiting a whole new group of people who never smoked cigarettes," Jessica Barrington-Trimis of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles
Q: What stories do smokers want to share? A: Many.
Q. Is there help if I'm ready to quit? A: Absolutely.
Download a free Quit Guide mobile app, make your own quite plan, find social support, receive free tets, and call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to access free support (available in Spanish and Asian languages) (CDC.gov Tobacco Campaign)
Please consider sharing your top 5 reasons to say, "I'll pass," when it comes to tobacco use. Whether this is an extra-credit assignment from your teacher, or just something you want to share, you can opt to enter our current blog and video contest and win a cash prize, a certificate, and recognition at your school. Just click on the button below to access to the submission form. Just a heads up, you could also opt to share your reasons or story anonymously. We hope to hear from you!