Cigarettes: More Dangerous Than Before

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Graphic of the ingredients in a cigarette.

Images courtesy of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Is there anyone that doesn’t know how dangerous smoking cigarettes can be? It’s hard to imagine with so much public education from The Truth Campaign, The Real Cost, and Tips From Former Smokers.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that cigarettes have actually become more dangerous.

A recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General—the Nation’s “top doctor”—relates that cigarettes are more toxic now than in the 1950s because tobacco companies have changed the design and ingredients of cigarettes. As a result, both men and women have a much higher risk for lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD, a serious lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe) from smoking today than did smokers 50 years ago.

The good news is that fewer people are smoking. But tobacco is a business and business must grow! (Right?) By making cigarettes more addictive and less harsh to smoke, tobacco companies are able to increase the number of cigarettes smoked by those that do smoke. 

And that’s not all. Check out this graphic from TobaccoFreeKids.org that shows the tricks Big Tobacco uses to get you hooked on cigarettes.

Graphic of the ingredients in a cigarette.

If you're ready to quit, visit Smokefree Teen for help.

Want to learn more? Take our quiz on why cigarette smoking is dangerous.

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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