Myths and Lies: Nicotine 

Take advantage of the reference material below to get inspiration for your video.

Myth:  Teen smokers will quit before adulthood.

  • While that’s the plan, it usually doesn’t work out that way. Only 5% of teens believe they’ll be smoking five years after graduation, but 75% of teen smokers will still be puffing. 

Myth: Some people are going to smoke no matter what you do.

  • Nearly all smokers start by age 18/20. If you get through high school and your early twenties without smoking, you’ll likely never start.
  • Higher taxes, strong anti-smoking messages on TV and on the radio and graphic warning labels all reduce teen smoking.

Myth:  Smokeless tobacco is safer than smoking.

  • Smokeless tobacco causes oral cancer, throat cancer, stomach and colon cancer, as well as heart disease.
  • An average pinch of dip used for thirty minutes has as much nicotine (the addictive chemical in tobacco) as three or four cigarettes, making dip really hard to quit. 

Myth: It’s the additives and chemicals in cigarettes that make them dangerous. 

  • Think an “all-natural” cigarette is safer? Think again. Tobacco has 7,000 toxins in its smoke, whether there are additives in cigarettes or not. 

  • Smoking causes heart disease, stroke, lung disease and cancer.

Myth: If you don’t smoke every day, you’re not addicted.

  • Teens show signs of addiction even before smoking every day.
  • These signs include cravings, irritability or restlessness when unable to smoke and wanting to smoke when stressed.
  • Even light smokers show differences in their brains. Teens who smoke as few as two cigarettes a day have brains that respond to cigarettes like pack a day smokers. 

Myth:  E-Cigarettes are a good way to quit smoking.

  • It turns out smokers who try e-cigarettes to quit smoking are more likely to be smoking a year later than their peers who didn’t use e-cigarettes to quit.  And teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke regular cigarettes than their non-vaping peers.

Myth: Hookah is a fun, harmless way to pass time with friends.

  • Turns out that hookah’s not so harmless. A smoker inhales 100 to 200 times as much smoke in a hookah session compared to smoking a cigarette. Hookah users are at risk for oral cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer and reduced lung function.
  • Even non-tobacco hookah smoke contains carbon monoxide and other toxins that increase the risks for cancer, heart disease and lung disease.


Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The Path to Tobacco Addiction Starts at Very Young Ages. Accessed July 8, 2014. Available at:

Surgeon General. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Adults Fact Sheet. Accessed July 8, 2014. Available at:

American Cancer Society. Are any types of cigarettes safe to smoke? Accessed July 9, 2014. Available at:

American Lung Association. What’s in a cigarette? Accessed July 9, 2014. Available at:

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

University of California San Francisco. Brains of Teens Who Smoke Cigarettes Reveal Early Signs of Addiction. Accessed July 9, 2014. Available at: Grana R, Benowitz N, Glantz S. E-Cigarettes: A Scientific Review. Circulation. 2014; 129:1971-1986. Doi: 10.1161. Available at:

University of California San Francisco. E-Cigarettes: Gateway to Nicotine Addiction for U.S. Teens, Says UCSF Study. Accessed July 9, 2014. Available at:

National Cancer Institute. Smokeless Tobacco and Cancer. Accessed July 14, 2014. Available at:

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Smokeless Tobacco: A Guide for Quitting. Accessed July 14, 2014. Available at:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hookahs. Accessed July 14, 2014. Available at: