Why is smoking unhealthy?

Straight Fact

Smoking can negatively impact nearly every aspect of your health.

Unfiltered Answer

The nicotine in cigarettes is addictive. This causes cravings that lead to heavy usage. Nearly every organ is negatively impacted by smoking, including brain development.[6] Smoking can damage your lungs, cause cancer and lead to death.

And despite what you, and many people, may think, a filter on a cigarette doesn’t make it healthier. They are used to make smoking easier by making the smoke less harsh but not less harmful.[6]

Every day, about 1,600 teens try their first cigarette.[1]

But is smoking that bad for young people?

Straight Fact

Smoking can negatively impact your health at any age.

Unfiltered Answer

Even young, healthy people can have serious health problems due to smoking. While cancer and death can take years to happen, it can still happen. Immediate health concerns like addiction, breathing problems and lung scarring are known to happen to people at any age.[5]

Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body.[2]

Is it hard to quit?

Straight Fact

Yes, most people claim that quitting smoking is hard.

Unfiltered Answer

On average, data shows that it can take up to 20 times to quit smoking. Also, 60% of adults who smoke claim to want to quit smoking. If you are trying to quit smoking, there are free resources that can help you.

Cigarette smoking is the cause of nearly one in five deaths in the U.S.[4]

Are menthol-flavored cigarettes safer than unflavored cigarettes?

Straight Fact

Menthol cigarettes have the same health effects as all cigarettes, but people that smoke them can have a harder time quitting than people who smoke unflavored cigarettes.

Unfiltered Answer

Menthol cigarettes contain flavoring that makes tobacco less harsh on the throat. This makes it easier to smoke even more and makes them harder to quit. The tobacco companies focus their advertising on the LGBTQ+ community, people with mental health conditions and particularly young people and Black Americans which has increased the use of menthol cigarettes among these groups. Because of this, they are at a higher risk of serious health effects such as cancer, heart disease and death.[5]

In April 2021, the FDA (U. S. Food and Drug Administration) announced that it is planning to ban menthol flavoring in cigarettes and all flavoring in cigars.[7]

Nicotine Products

Get the facts about different nicotine products.



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Smoking & Tobacco Use: Fast Facts and Fact Sheets

  2. US Department of Health & Human Services: Health Consequences of Smoking, Surgeon General fact sheet

  3. CDC: Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking

  4. CDC: Smoking and Youth

  5. CDC: Menthol Tobacco Products

  6. Truth Initiative: Cigarette filters mislead consumers, with 1 in 3 smokers falsely believing filters reduce harm

  7. FDA on Track to Take Actions to Address Tobacco-Related Health Disparities