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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?
Every year, we learn more about how devastating tobacco can be to the human body and how damaging secondhand smoke is to those around it. In fact, 28,600 adults in Florida die from smoking (443,000 deaths a year nationwide) every year. For every person who dies, another 20 suffer from one or more serious illnesses from smoking.
Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer death in the United States. Lung cancer is not the only type of cancer that can be caused by smoking. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2013, about 174,100 cancer deaths will be caused by tobacco use. Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body including cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, larynx (voice box), trachea (wind pipe), esophagus, kidney, ureteral, bladder, cervical, bone marrow and blood.
Smokeless tobacco products have taken a backseat to smoking for decades, but are recently gaining ground in overall usage and use among young people. Smokeless tobacco includes chew, spit, dip, snuff, snus and a host of new dissolvable products. They are simply not a safe alternative to smoking and they can be as addictive as, or more addictive, than cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco causes many significant health problems, including several types of cancer. Smokeless users have an 80 percent higher risk of oral cancer and a 60 percent higher risk of pancreatic and esophageal cancer. Smokeless tobacco products can also increase the risk of a fatal heart attack and stroke.
In addition, there is no scientific evidence that using smokeless tobacco products can help a person quit smoking. Using smokeless tobacco can lead to nicotine addiction and dependence.
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, 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.