COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest information from CDC ( | NIH Resources | NIDA Resources

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

What we know about drug abuse evolves over time. This is true for smoking and tobacco addiction, too. We know much more now than we did 100, 40, or even 10 years ago. As we learn more about tobacco, smoking, and health, we continue to do more to prevent illness and death caused by tobacco.

Did you know there was a time when people didn't know that smoking cigarettes could be deadly? A long time ago, doctors even recommended that people smoke to cure other illnesses-check out the old advertisement below:

Old advertisement of doctor who is smoking a cigarette.

Looks pretty silly now. Today, no doctor who has gone to medical school would recommend smoking to their patients. Just the opposite: doctors, nurses, and teens like you are telling people not to smoke. Why? Because smoking "causes lung cancer heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy"—and it says so right on the box! Every cigarette carton in the United States is required to warn against the health effects of smoking.

Picture of cartons of cigarettes.

Different warnings appear on different cigarette packaging [link removed]. While traveling in Europe recently, one of our bloggers snapped a picture of some cigarette cartons, each with its own saying. One of them said: "Smokers die younger." That's what you call truth in advertising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined! Check out more info for youth on CDC's website.

Here at NIDA, we know and understand what smoking looked like then and now. But, what gets us excited is applying what we've learned about tobacco and nicotine to help improve people's lives in the future. So, stay tuned to the Sara Bellum Blog—you never know what we, or one of your classmates, might discover.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


.., this is because people never get satisfied.. e-cigarette is one of the main evidence that people will come out for more and more of the stuff...

Smoking, unfortunately, is still seen as very cool.
I believe this is one of the major factors that make young people take up smoking - and later becomes addicted.
Campaigns, like the recent one of Lindsay Lohan (removed commercial link, per g/l) certainly does not give smoking a "un-cool" image - in my humble opinion...
The labels on the cigarette packs certainly helps, but I think there also have to be an emotional statement that deters teenagers from start smoking - sorry, do not have the answer for this one...

Great info, thanks so much

If everyone switched to electronic cigarettes the amount of deaths in the US would be reduced from 400,000 to about 4,000. Nicotine is as harmless as caffeine. Too much of almost anything can be fatal as is caffeine and nicotine.

Even our president now has his own electronic cigarette given to him by the Wendy Williams show.

Personally I like my e-cigs. It’s the best in my opinion.

Can I really die from the cigarettes like they are telling me?

@Jack Well, yeah. Cigarettes are responsible for nearly 500,000 deaths a year, mostly from lung and other respiratory diseases. But the good news is, your lungs can recover if you quit soon enough.


Is this information reliable? I'm trying to find the source for one of my papers, please help! Thank you, Tiff

@Tiffany Rodriquent Yes, and here is more info on tobacco addiction, which includes lots of resources listed towards the back:

Thank you for the link NIDAminds, I will use it also as a reference in my research paper in school. Thanks again.
[commercial link removed, per guidelines]


Hey I found this web site to be actually attention-grabbing! and has all the info about the electronic cigarette [commercial info removed, per guidelines]

The electronic cigarette [commercial link removed, per guidelines] is a great invention and deserves to be supported.
the e cigarrete has liquid nicotine in it and can kill a baby if inhaled

You're right, nicotine is a dangerous toxin.  The liquid nicotine used for ecigarettes is usually flavored with cherry, vanilla, and other flavors that are attractive to small children.  If a small child accidentally ingests even a small amount of liquid nicotine, it can poison them.

I'm looking to write a paper on the contrast on tobacco commercials now versus then. Could you help with any info?

Hi Re Gray, we don't have much information on this blog about the history of tobacco advertising, but one of the links we included to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has a gallery of tobacco ads that includes some older ones: The Stanford School of Medicine also has an online collection of tobacco ads: