Tobacco use diminishes health throughout an individual’s lifetime, and these effects accumulate throughout adulthood, resulting in preventable illness and, all too often, premature death. Nicotine is most efficiently delivered through smoking, resulting in death to nearly half of lifetime users. Over the years, other nicotine products have entered the market in a cloud of controversy and debate. Tobacco companies have introduced products marketed in a manner that implies they are “safer,” but research indicates that there is no completely safe form of tobacco. Smoking cigarettes, including cigarettes with low tar as measured by a machine, has been scientifically proven to harm nearly every organ in the body and to increase morbidity and mortality. Smokeless tobacco products increase the risk of oral cancers, and smokers of cigars, pipes, water pipes, kreteks, and bidis also experience serious adverse health consequences.
Smoking is particularly harmful to pregnant women and their fetuses. Smoking during pregnancy is dangerous to the mother and can cause growth retardation, low birth weight, and possibly death of the fetus.
The harm caused by today’s tobacco use will extend for decades into the future, which is made more tragic by the fact that the negative effects of tobacco are entirely preventable. Quitting tobacco use greatly reduces illness by immediately providing short-term benefits and lowering the risk of all diseases caused
THE INDUSTRY Says:
We recognize that cigarettes are an addictive product. That doesn’t mean you can’t stop smoking. But nicotine is not the issue. It’s the other compounds that are created—they’re called volatile compounds—that are created in smoke. They’re the ones who create the harm, and they’re the ones we’re working on in terms of our reduced risk products.Louis Camilleri, CEO, Philip Morris International, 2011
To date, no tobacco products have been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of tobacco-related disease, improve safety, or cause less harm than other tobacco products.Food and Drug Administration, US, 2011