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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.
Tobacco Free Florida
How Does Tobacco Affect My Health?
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It causes more than 480,000 deaths each year. That is nearly 1 in 5 deaths, or 1,300 deaths every day. In Florida alone, cigarette smoking is responsible for 32,300 deaths every year. For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. That means more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking.
Smoking cigarettes can cause heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, gum disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and more. Everyone knows about the connection between smoking and lung cancer. In fact, 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths are connected to smoking and more women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer. When you smoke, the toxins from cigarette smoke enter your bloodstream through your lungs. Where does your blood go? To every part of the body. That’s why smoking causes disease in so many different ways including cancers of the blood, cervix, colon and rectum, esophagus, liver, pancreas, stomach, and more. Smoking cigarettes also weakens the body’s immune system, making it harder to kill cancer cells. Think about this: if nobody smoked, 1 out of 3 cancer deaths in the U.S. would not happen.
Other types of tobacco are harmful to the body as well.
- Smokeless tobacco, like chew and dip, can cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas.
- Cigars, cigarillos and little cigars contain the same toxic and carcinogenic compounds found in cigarettes and are not a safe alternative to cigarettes.
- Hookah smoking has many of the same health risks as cigarette smoking. Hookah tobacco and smoke contain several toxic agents known to cause lung, bladder, and oral cancers.
Tobacco Free Florida
In November 2006, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment, Article X, Section 27, that called for establishing a comprehensive tobacco education and use prevention program using a percentage of the state’s tobacco settlement fund. As a result, Tobacco Free Florida (TFF) launched in 2007. TFF is administered through the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida and funded by money derived from the state’s tobacco settlement agreement with the major tobacco companies in 1997. These tobacco lawsuits were intended to punish cigarette makers for decades of fraud and racketeering and to help states pay for the Medicaid and other public health expenses to cover sick smokers. Florida was among three other states—Texas, Mississippi and Minnesota—that settled with the tobacco industry before the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998 between the other 46 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
To learn more about the effects of tobacco use and the free quit tools and services available, please visit the Tobacco Free Florida website.