In this Article
- What is tobacco addiction?
- Is nicotine addictive?
- Is nicotine the only harmful part of tobacco?
- How is tobacco used?
- What are the common street names for cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and hookah smoking?
- How many teens smoke or use tobacco products?
- How does tobacco deliver its effects?
- What happens when someone uses tobacco for long periods of time?
- What are other adverse health effects of smoking and tobacco abuse?
- Smoking and pregnancy: What are the risks?
- How is tobacco addiction treated?
- What if a person wants to quit smoking or using tobacco?
How Is Tobacco Used?
Tobacco can be smoked in cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. It can be chewed or, if powdered, sniffed. "Bidis" are an alternative cigarette. They originally came from India and were hand-rolled. In the United States, bidis were popular with teens because they come in colorful packages with flavor choices. Some teens think that bidis are less harmful than regular cigarettes, but in fact they have more nicotine, which may make people smoke more, giving bidis the potential to be even more harmful than cigarettes. Hookah -- or water pipe smoking -- practiced for centuries in other countries, has recently become popular among teens in the United States as well. Hookah tobacco comes in many flavors, and the pipe is typically passed around in groups. Although many hookah smokers think it is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, water pipe smoking still delivers the addictive drug nicotine and is at least as toxic as cigarette smoking.
What Are the Common Street Names?
You might hear cigarettes referred to as "smokes," "cigs," or "butts." Smokeless tobacco is often called "chew," "dip," "spit tobacco," "snus," or "snuff." People may refer to hookah smoking as "narghile," "argileh," "shisha," "hubble-bubble," or "goza."
How Many Teens Use It?
The good news is that smoking is at historically low levels among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, according to NIDA's Monitoring the Future study. In 2011, rates for smoking in the past month were reported as 18.7 percent for 12th graders, 11.8 percent for 10th graders, and 6.1 percent for 8th graders.
Use of smokeless tobacco had been showing a decline over the past decade -- until 2009, when use began to rise. According to the study, in 2011 current use of smokeless tobacco among 8th graders was 3.5 percent and 6.6 percent among 10th graders. Among 12th graders, 8.3 percent reported using smokeless tobacco in the last month, a number not seen since the late 1990s.
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