Tobacco Health Risks

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Each year, more Americans die from smoking-related illnesses than from AIDS, drug abuse, car accidents, and homicides combined. Tobacco use is known to cause lung and oral cancers and is strongly linked to many other types of cancer, including cancers of the breast, pancreas, colon, and cervix. Secondhand smoke is toxic and negatively affects the lives of everyone in its path. No amount is safe to breathe, whether you are inside or out. Tobacco use is a contributing and complicating factor for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and many other chronic and debilitating diseases. The single most important thing you can do for your health is to quit smoking or using nicotine replacement products (ex. gum and patches) or FDA-approved, non-nicotine cessation medications.

What You Can Do

  • Are you a patient? Ask your doctor about QuitWorks and whether your can get free nicotine patches.*
  • If you use tobacco, quit. Free help is available. more
  • Maintain a totally smoke-free home and car environment. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. more
  • Educate your children and family members about the dangers of tobacco, emphasizing the realities of addiction and its impact on short- and long-term health.
  • Join the tobacco-free movement. more
  • Support federal, state and local tobacco-prevention efforts.

What We Are Doing

  • Offering quit support via 1-800-QUIT-NOW and QuitNowRI.
  • Partnering with community organizations throughout the State to educate Rhode Islanders on the risks associated with tobacco use and to expose the tobacco industry’s aggressive targeting of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable populations.

* must be 18 years old or older; while supplies last; medical restrictions apply.