What Is In Tobacco?

Dried tobacco leaves and ingredients added for flavor. More than 4,000 individual compounds have been identified in tobacco and tobacco smoke, and around 43 of these are carcinogens.

Is Tobacco Addictive?

In 1988, the US Surgeon General concluded the following:

  • Nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes addiction. Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are addicting.
  • The pharmacologic and behavior processes that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

What Are The Health Risks?

  • Smoking is a major cause of heart disease, bronchitis, emphysema, and stroke and contributes to the severity of cold and pneumonia.
  • Cigarette smoking is a major cause of cancers of the lung larynx, oral cavity, pharynx, and esophagus.
  • Tobacco is a known or probable cause of some 25 different diseases.
  • About 87 percent of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking.
  • One out of every two long-term smokers will ultimately be killed by tobacco.
  • From 1950 to 200, tobacco will have killed more than 60 million people in developed countries alone, more than in World War II.
  • Smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, cocaine, homicide, suicide and motor vehicle crashes combined.

Why Should I Quit?

  • People who quit, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke.
  • Smokers who quit before age 50 have half the risk of those who continue to smoke of dying in the next 15 years.
  • Quitting substantially decreases the risk of cancer of the lung, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, mouth, pancreas, bladder, and cervix.
  • Benefits of cessation include risk of reduction for other major diseases including coronary heart disease, lung disease, and cardiovascular disease.

How Does Tobacco Affect Babies?

  • Maternal smoking is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, lower birth weight of babies and inhibited child development.
  • Parental smoking is a factor in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and is associated with higher rates of respiratory illnesses, including bronchitis, colds and pneumonia in children.
  • Children with parent who smoke are more likely to smoke than children with parents who abstain from tobacco.

Are you Thinking About Quitting Smoking or Chewing Tobacco? There is Help!

Gunnison County Tobacco Cessation Resource List

Information and Support

  • Gunnison County Tobacco Education and Prevention Program offering: resource list, Quitkits and tobacco educational materials. 970.641.0209.
  • Gunnison Valley Hospital 970.641.1456
  • Western Colorado University Medical Health Center 970.943.2707
  • Gunnison Family Medical Center 970.641.1771
  •; free online support and information.

Counseling and Coaching

  • Cindy Smock - Black Canyon Counseling 970.641.5119
  • Marcie Telander - East River Counseling 970.252.7803 or 970.349.6509
  • Midwestern Colorado Mental Health Center 970.349.5344
  • QuitLine: 1.800.QUIT.NOW; Free telephone coaching and Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

Nicotine Replacement & Medication (patches, gum, Zyban, Chantix)

  • Gunnison Family Medical Center 970.641.1771
  • Western Colorado University Medical Health Center 970.943.2707
  • QuitLine; 1-800-QUIT-NOW. When you sign up for the counseling with QuitLine, they give you free patches.
  • Gunnison Vitamin & Health Food Store sells non-tobacco alternatives

Acupuncture (They offer special techniques to help with tobacco addiction)

  • Karen Adelman 970.349.9886
  • Jessica Tullius 970.641.6095
  • Stacy Stark 970.209.8310

This is not a complete list. For a more complete list of resources, please call Margaret Wacker at Gunnison County Tobacco Education and Prevention Program at Public Health, 970.641.0209 or check the local listings in the phone book.