Tobacco Fact File


How long do I have?


Research has shown that smoking reduces life expectancy by seven to eight years. On average, each cigarette shortens your life anywhere from seven to eleven minutes. In other words, the time it takes you to smoke a cigarette equals the time that cigarette takes off of your life.

What's the stuff within this stuff that I really need to worry about?


While you're inhaling, a cigarette burns super hot in its core. This heat breaks down the tobacco to produce poisons. Cigarettes contain more than 400 toxic substances, and more than 4,000 chemically different compounds. The substances contained in the smoke you inhale that are most damaging to your health are tar (causes lung cancer), carbon monoxide (causes heart disease), and nicotine (is addictive). The health risks are influenced by the number of cigarettes you smoke, if they have filters and how the tobacco has been prepared.

The tar holds the other toxic substances together and is one of the biggest causes of lung cancer. By comparing tobacco mixtures and cigarettes, you can see the amounts of tar and nicotine that each contain

High tar cigarette labels 
say they contain more than 20 mg of tar per cigarette

Medium tar cigarette labels 
say they contain 15 to 20 mg of tar per cigarette.

Low tar cigarette labels 
say they contain less than15 mg of  tar per cigarette.


For more information about your health in regards to smoking, visit: