Learn about Tobacco


Today, tobacco comes in several forms, including cigarettes, chew, and vaporizers. The active ingredient is nicotine, which is highly addictive. Nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the U.S., and the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death. Cigarette smoking accounts for 90 percent of lung cancer cases in the U.S., and about 38,000 deaths per year can be attributed to secondhand smoke. Most cigarettes in the U.S. market today contain 10 milligrams (mg) or more of nicotine. Juul, a new vaporizer, has 4 times the amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarette.

Nicotine is absorbed through the skin and mucosal lining of the nose and mouth or in the lungs (through inhalation). Nicotine can reach peak levels in the bloodstream and brain rapidly, depending on how it is taken. Cigarette smoking results in nicotine reaching the brain within just 10 seconds of inhalation! 

Nicotine is so addictive that only 7% of the 35 million people who try to quit each year are successful. And research shows that the younger a person begins using nicotine- or ANY substance- the more likely it is to develop a life-long addiction. Nicotine is so addictive because it causes the brain to release dopamine, a reward chemical in the brain.

Teens and Tobacco

If smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness. That’s about 1 of every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger alive today.

In the past few years, there has been n overall decline in the number of teen tobacco users in the Gunnison Valley. A vast majority of our youth have not ever tried a tobacco product. That is GREAT news since we know the younger someone uses the more likely they are to form an addiction. Between the efforts of GCSAPP, the Gunnison Watershed School District, and parents we are making a difference. 

Vape, E-cigarettes, JUUL

Like other substances, tobacco makes in many forms, from cigarettes to chewing tobacco to vape pens. The tobacco industry has a history of marketing specifically towards youth. Camel cigarettes are perhaps the most known for this with their cartoon charter, Joe the Camel. 

Today tobacco continues to be market towards youth. In recent years we've witnessed the rise of vape pens, also known as e-cigarettes. Vape pens, also known as e-cigarettes and Juuls, can be used for a number of products, including tobacco and marijuana. 

Vape pens appeal to youth for a number of reasons:

1. they can be used with various fruit flavors. In 2014, 73% of high school students and 56% of middle school students who used tobacco products in the past 30 days reported using a flavored tobacco product during that time.

2. they are small, and thus easily hidden or disguised since they are virtually the same size as a writing pen

3. they can be discretely used

To learn more about JUUL, vaping, e-cigerettes check out the following:

*The GCSAPP page labeled "JUUL"

NPR article: "Teens Embrace Juul"

What you need to know about vape - Dr. Kortsch