Tobacco smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death and is responsible for nearly a half-million deaths every year in the United States. Over 40,000 of those deaths are a result of exposure to second-hand smoke. Smoking and tobacco use attacks nearly every organ of the body and dramatically increases the risks of many diseases such as coronary heart disease, lung diseases, stroke, and cancers. For more comprehensive information on the health effects of smoking visit the Center for Disease Control.
Reducing the Access to Tobacco Products
While we have made great strides in reducing access to tobacco products by youth, eliminating smoking in indoor places, and helping smokers stop there is still a lot of work to do. Approximately 18% of all adults are still smoking and 1000’s of youth start smoking every day.
Use of Tobacco Products
In addition, the use of other tobacco products other than cigarettes are increasing, such as:
- Chewing tobacco
- Dissolvable products
- Flavored products
Of particular concern is the increasing use of electronic cigarettes, also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems. These products are fairly new to the market and we are still learning about their potential effects, but the latest information indicates they may have deleterious effects. For more information on e-cigarettes visit Drug Facts: E-Cigarettes.
Indoor Smoke-Free Act
One of New Jersey’s great successes in tobacco control was the passage of the indoor smoke-free air act in 2006. In 2010 this act was changed to include electronic cigarettes, the first state in the country to do so. This act reduces the exposure of non-smokers to second-hand smoke resulting in less negative health outcomes.