The Truth About Tobacco

Last Updated December 9, 2021

Don’t be fooled by these common myths about tobacco. Learn the truth — and find strategies to help you quit.

MYTH: Smoking only hurts me.

TRUTH: Breathing any amount of tobacco smoke is unhealthy. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25% to 30% and lung cancer by 20% to 30%. Tens of thousands of non-smokers die every year from breathing other people’s secondhand smoke.

MYTH: Smoking just a few cigarettes a day won’t hurt me.

TRUTH: Having just one cigarette a day significantly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Cutting back is not enough to protect you; you have to quit entirely.

MYTH: I’ve smoked for a long time. Quitting won’t help me now.

TRUTH: It’s true that the longer you use tobacco, the more damage you do to your body. But no matter how long you’ve smoked, quitting will improve your health and increase your life expectancy.

  • One year after quitting, your risk of heart disease is cut in half.
  • Within two to five years, your stroke risk can decrease to that of a nonsmoker’s.

Ready to Quit?

If you’re ready to quit tobacco, here are some strategies to help you:

  • Limit your contact with other smokers.
  • Don’t buy, carry, light or hold cigarettes for others.
  • Ask your friends and family for support.

Contact UBreathe at 1-888-882-5462 to learn more about tobacco addiction and get help to quit.

Sources: U.S. Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Cancer Society and the BMJ