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Smoking Facts for Teens:
What you should know

Photo professional  woman

Don't get trapped. Nicotine in cigarettes, cigars and spit tobacco is addictive.

Tobacco and sports

Nicotine narrows your blood vessels and puts a strain on your heart.

Smoking can wreck your lungs and reduce oxygen available to muscles used in sports.

Smokers suffer shortness of breath (GASP) almost 3 times more than nonsmokers.

Smokers run slower and can't run as far. This hurts overall sports performance.

Cigars and spit tobacco are NOT safe alternatives. Sean Marcee, a high school star athlete who used spit tobacco, died of oral cancer when he was 19 years old.

Tobacco and how you look

Yuck! Tobacco smoke makes your hair and clothes stink.

Tobacco stains teeth and causes bad breath. Use of spit tobacco can cause cracked lips, white spots, sores and bleeding in your mouth.

Surgery to remove oral cancers caused by tobacco use can lead to serious changes in how your face looks.


Know the truth. Despite all the tobacco use on TV and in movies, music videos and magazines, most teens, adults and athletes DON'T use tobacco.

Make friends, develop your athletic skills or other talents. Be independent!

Don't waste (burn) money on tobacco. Spend it on CDs, clothes, games or movies.

Online Resources

Modified from CDC publication:
What You(th) Should Know About Tobacco.

Adapted by
Susan Flagler, DNS, ARNP
Associate Professor
Family and Child Nursing
School of Nursing
University of Washington

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