What Youth Should Know About Tobacco

Tobacco and Athletic Performance

• Don’t get trapped. Nicotine in cigarettes, cigars, vape products (e-cigarettes) and chew is addictive.
• Nicotine narrows your blood vessels and puts added strain on your heart.
• Smoking can wreck your lungs and reduce the oxygen available for muscles used during sports.
• Smokers suffer shortness of breath (gasp!) almost three times more often than nonsmokers.
• Smokers run slower and can’t run as far, affecting overall athletic performance.
• Cigars, chew and vaping (e-cigarettes) are NOT safe alternatives.

Tobacco and Personal Appearance

• Yuck! Tobacco smoke can make your hair and clothes stink.
• Tobacco stains your teeth and causes bad breath.
• Short-term use of chew can cause cracked lips, white spots, sores, and bleeding in your mouth.

So . . . Know the truth. Despite all the tobacco use on TV and in movies, music videos, billboards and magazines–most teens, adults, and athletes DON’T use tobacco.  Make friends, develop athletic skills, control your weight, be independent, be cool … play sports.  Don’t waste (burn) money on tobacco. What other things could you spend that money on?  Get involved: make your team, school, and home tobacco-free; teach others; join community efforts to prevent tobacco use.