Using tobacco can truly harm you.
Okay. So the fact that smoking or chewing tobacco is bad for you is old news. But do you really know just how bad its effects really are. Did you know these facts about tobacco?
- Cigarettes contain a multitude of toxins. In fact, over 4,000 chemicals are created by burning a cigarette, more than 60 of which are known to cause cancer. Ammonia, Carbon Monoxide, Arsenic, Formaldehyde and Hydrogen Cyanide are just a few of the substances a cigarette contains.
- Long-term smokers have a 50% chance of dying from a tobacco-related disease.
- In both Canada and the U.S., lung cancer now surpasses breast cancer as the leading cancer killer of women.
- As a mood and behavior altering agent, nicotine is as addictive as heroin, and five to 10 times more potent than cocaine or morphine.
- Second hand smoke is extremely dangerous to you and your family. All too often parents and significant others take steps they mistakenly believe are protecting the ones they love. For example, opening a window and exhaling out may remove the visible smoke, but doesn’t remove the dangerous particles from circulating the car or home.
- Tobacco corporations have been targeting the GLBT community, specifically GLBT youth, since the early 1990’s.
So if we know we shouldn’t be smoking, why do so many people in our GLBT community still do it? Check out these little factoids.
- Members of the GLBT community are between 40% and 70% more likely to smoke than non-GLBT individuals.
- Tobacco use—which is responsible for heart disease, strokes and many cancers—is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States.
- A 2006 study conducted among nine Designated AIDS Treatment Centers (DACS) and five adult day healthcare centers found that 59.4% of patients living with HIV/AIDS were smokers. That’s almost three times the smoking rate of the general population!
- Each year, more deaths result directly from tobacco use than from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined.
- A recent study at the University of Minnesota showed that more than 50% of the patients in a transgender health clinic who received hormone therapy were current or past smokers, and the rate of current smokers among the patients was almost double the smoking rate found in the general population.
- Estrogen use in women who smoke has been linked to such conditions as pulmonary embolism, heart disease and stroke, as well as to adverse liver effects. It is likely that these effects are also present in transgender women.
- In the mid-1990s, tobacco control professionals discovered documents that revealed the tobacco industry’s marketing campaign, “Project SCUM” (Sub Culture Urban Marketing). This campaign was an aggressive attempt to increase smoking and brand loyalty among homeless people and lesbian, gay and bisexual adults in San Francisco’s Castro district.