Breathe Easy Guide: Thinking About Quitting Commercial Tobacco

In this section:

Congratulations on taking the first step to quit commercial tobacco!!

Quitting is Possible!

Many people enjoy commercial tobacco. But most people also know the dangers of commercial tobacco use. About 1,192 Americans die every day from commercial tobacco use.

More than 4 out of 5 people want to quit commercial tobacco. Sadly, quitting is not easy. Why is quitting so hard? Quitting is hard because people get addicted to nicotine. Nicotine is a very addictive drug found in commercial tobacco. Within seven seconds of inhaling a commercial cigarette, nicotine reaches the brain. Nicotine affects your brain similarly to cocaine. This means each time you take a puff, you get a quick dose of an addictive chemical. This makes it hard to stop.

Because it is addictive, when you quit commercial tobacco, you begin to have withdrawal symptoms. For example, when you quit you might feel irritable, tired, or fidgety. You may have cravings to smoke, have a hard time focusing, or you might feel down. These are normal symptoms. The good news is these symptoms are temporary. There are safe medications to help ease these symptoms. This makes quitting much easier. People who use medications double their chances of quitting commercial tobacco for good!

It might seem difficult, but nearly 50 million adults have quit commercial tobacco. If they can do it, you can too!

People who use tobacco cessation medications double their chances of quitting commercial tobacco for good.

What's in Commercial Cigarettes?

Burning commercial tobacco produces about 4,000 chemical compounds, many of them harmful to the human body.

A short list includes the following:

  • Arsenic (poison)
  • Ammonia (used in household cleaning products)
  • Acetone (fingernail polish remover)
  • Carbon monoxide (car exhaust fumes)
  • Cyanide (poison, deadly in large doses)
  • Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
  • Methanol (rocket fuel)
  • Toluene (industrial solvent)

Other chemicals found in commercial cigarette smoke are used to kill insects and found in toilet cleaners, mothballs, barbecue lighter fluid and cigarette lighter fluid.

NEXT: Reasons to Quit