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Tobacco Risk Reduction Program
Providing Information & Education
The Tobacco Risk Reduction Program offers information and education on the prevention of tobacco use. Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. It causes more than 440,000 deaths each year. And, Tennessee has the fourth highest incidence rate of lung cancer cases. The aim of the Tobacco Risk Reduction Program is to reduce these startling statistics by eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke and tobacco-related health disparities, preventing the initiation of tobacco use among young people, and promoting quitting among adults and young people.

Side Effects
Tobacco contains nicotine, the addicting drug in tobacco products. Cigarettes and cigars are the most common form of tobacco used. They are also the most lethal form of tobacco. Other forms of tobacco are chewing tobacco and spit tobacco, also referred to as smokeless tobacco. Although smokeless tobacco is less lethal, it is not to be mistaken as a safe alternative to smoking. All forms of tobacco can cause chronic health conditions. Smoking and smokeless tobacco put you at risk for: 
  • Asthma
  • Cancer (i.e., lung, tongue, throat, and lip cancer)
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Gum disease
  • Heart disease
  • Tooth decay

Secondhand Smoke Side Effects
Secondhand smoke, also referred to as environmental tobacco smoke, is the smoke that smokers breathe out and the smoke that is given off from a lit cigarette or cigar. Nonsmokers who breathe in secondhand smoke are at risk for the same illnesses and diseases as smokers are. To learn more about secondhand smoke, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Secondhand Smoke webpage. Some of the harmful health effects of secondhand smoke may include:
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis, pneumonia, and other lung diseases
  • Cancer
  • Ear infections
  • Heart attack
  • Low birth weight and/or SIDS
  • Stroke

Benefits of Quitting
It is never too late to quit, and it can be done. Minutes after quitting the body starts to repair the damage that has been done. Over time an ex-smoker’s risk for chronic illness and debilitation reduces. Call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at (800) QUIT-NOW for additional information about quitting smoking. Some instant benefits of quitting smoking include:
  • Food will taste better
  • Yellow fingers and fingernails disappear
  • You will have more energy
  • You will have whiter teeth
  • You will save money
  • Your sense of smell returns to normal

Additional Resources
If you or your organization would like materials or request a presentation, please contact our office at (901) 544-6856. You may also check out our Tobacco Cessation Community Resource List for information about other local services.

Vasco A. Smith, Jr. County Administration Building • (901) 222-2300
160 North Main Street Memphis TN 38103
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