Health Effects

  • Smoking is the #1 cause of preventable deaths in the U.S.
  • Cigarette smoking is harmful to nearly every organ in your body and causes multiple chronic diseases, cancers, and various negative health effects.

Diagram depicting chronic deseases and cancers and their location within the body.

  • Smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, drug and alcohol use, car accidents, and firearm-related injuries combined. 1


Smoking rates

    Tobacco eighteen twenty one

    Tobacco 21

    • In December 2014, the City of Columbia implemented an ordinance stating that “It shall be unlawful for any person to sell tobacco products or tobacco product paraphernalia, alternative nicotine products or vapor products to a minor, any person under the age of 21 years”.

    E-Cigarettes (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems – ENDS)

    • Electronic Cigarettes: What’s the Bottom Line? opens PDF file
    • E-cigarette use is rapidly increasing, especially amongst teens and young adults.
    • E-cigarettes often contain high amounts of nicotine and can lead to addiction.
    • E-cigarette liquids often contain harmful chemicals that are not safe to inhale and are not approved by the FDA.
    • In December 2014, the City of Columbia added e-cigarettes to the indoor smoking ban, making it illegal to use e-cigarettes in indoor public places.
    • The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults.
    • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.1
    • Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.
    • E-cigarette aerosol is NOT harmless “water vapor.”
    • The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including:
      •Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
      •Flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease
      •Volatile organic compounds
      •Cancer-causing chemicals
      •Heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead



    Cessation Services

    • Want to quit smoking? We can help you
    • CDC’s Quit Smoking Hotline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW
    • The Free quitSTART app is made for teens and can help you quit smoking. It gives you customized tips, inspiration, and challenges so you can quit for good.
    • Build your quitting skills with Daily Challenges.
    • Try DipfreeTXT to quit smokeless tobacco.
    • Try SmokefreeTXT to quit smoking. 
    • Youth and young adults can access an e-cigarette quit program by texting “DITCHJUUL” to 88709. Parents and other adults looking to help young people quit should text “QUIT” to (202) 899-7550.

    Tobacco Retailer Information


    1. Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
    2. KidsHealth
    3. County Health Rankings
    4. Surgeon Generals Advisory on E-cigarette Use Among Youthopens PDF file
    5. Teachers and Parents: That USB Stick Might Be an E-cigaretteopens PDF file
    6. Youth Exposure to Advertising and E-Cigarette Useopens PDF file
    7. Talk with Your Teen About E-cigarettes: A Tip Sheet for Parentsopens PDF file
    8. Healthy People 2020opens PDF file