Blog Archives

When AZ Goes “Tobacco 21,” We’ve All Won.

Tobacco 21 is the initiative to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. Several STAND coalitions across the state have either passed or are actively working to pass legislation for their own communities. It is the goal of STAND to make Arizona the next state after California and Hawaii to turn “Tobacco 21.”

Join the fight to help make “Tobacco 21” a reality for all of Arizona!

Voyage Trekkers

Voyage Trekkers Are Here. Watch Yourself.

In the fight against big, bad tobacco, you need every little bit of help you can get. And no one in the universe lives up to the “little” part quite like Voyage Trekkers. Watch them save the day…sort of.


Stories of Deception

The Tobacco Industry is Armed and Dangerous. And Their Target is You.

Tobacco companies spend more than $27 million every single day to go after customers they feel are the most profitable and most easily persuaded. Some of the groups they go after are teens, the homeless, people with behavioral health issues, LGBTQ communities and African Americans. The tobacco industry uses devious tactics to do this, from packaging that looks like candy for kids to ads that use stereotypes to make smoking look cool.

You Don’t Have to Take It. You Can Take a STAND.

STAND and Spot127—an innovative center where Phoenix high school students learn state-of-the-art skills in digital media, radio and journalism—have partnered up to help teens just like you tell stories about the impact of tobacco in our communities.

Check out the current featured stories above to learn how you can fight back against the tobacco industry.


Confirmation Page

Thank you for interest and commitment to STAND, Arizona’s anti-tobacco youth coalition movement.  Someone from our team will get back to you promptly!

Engineering Addiction

Take Aim at Tobacco

EAddict LogoSTAND partnered with Plasma Robotics–the engineering club of Red Mountain High School–to create a “Take Aim at Tobacco” robot for our Engineering Addiction effort. This interactive robot was designed to shoot Frisbees at an addiction-themed backdrop featuring eight target areas. Students, after successfully answering quiz questions about the dangers of tobacco, earned the opportunity to control the robot and shoot Frisbees at each target.
Are you ready to Take Aim at Tobacco? Check back soon to find our next scheduled Engineering Addiction event!

Health Effects

How Tobacco Harms Your Health

The health risks of smoking and using other forms of tobacco make up a long list. Find out what side effects you may be facing if you decide to smoke.

Short-Term Side Effects

Using tobacco can deliver feelings of relaxation at first, but its immediate physical effects are anything but that:

  • Your heart rate increases
  • Your breathing gets shorter and faster
  • Your blood pressure goes up

Why these symptoms?

Smoking is the fastest way for nicotine (and other harmful substances in tobacco smoke) to enter your body. That’s because there’s a large amount of surface area in your lungs thanks to millions of tiny air sacs called alveoli. These alveoli are surrounded by blood vessels that act as the gateway to your bloodstream. Once absorbed, nicotine acts on the nervous system and heart to produce the symptoms listed above. See how a former tobacco scientist explains nicotine and addiction.

Watch The DeNoble Files

Long-Term Side Effects

Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, especially over a prolonged period. Below is an overview of some of the major health consequences.


  • Studies have shown that smokers experience more stress overall than nonsmokers.
  • Over time, smokers develop more nicotine receptors than nonsmokers, which may play a role in craving.


  • Smokers are 30-40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers.


  • There are 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, and 70 of them are known to cause cancer.
  • Smoking and using tobacco increases the risk for developing cancer of the lip, oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, larynx, lung, uterus, cervix, bladder and kidney.
  • Approximately 90% of all lung cancer deaths are directly due to smoking.
  • Smoking damages the DNA in your cells. This may cause abnormal cell growth which can lead to cancer.


  • The addictive drug nicotine (present in all tobacco products) increases the amount of dopamine in your brain by mimicking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
  • Dopamine is part of the reward pathway in your brain. When its levels are artificially increased by nicotine, you crave more of it to feel good.
  • Adolescents are twice as likely to get addicted because the brain is not fully developed until the early to mid twenties.

See what happens to the brain on nicotine
Watch videos on the brain and addiction

Heart Disease

  • Smoking causes coronary heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Smoking approximately doubles a person’s risk of having a stroke.
  • There is no evidence that smoking lower-tar or lower-nicotine cigarettes reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Lung Disease & Respiratory Problems

  • Smokers are much more likely to have upper and lower respiratory tract infections.
  • The lungs of people who start smoking as teenagers may not fully grow.
  • Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer of both men and women in the U.S.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third highest cause of death in the U.S., and 8 out of 10 cases are caused by smoking.

You might hear some people say that hookah or e-cigarettes are “safer” for you. See how they compare to other forms of tobacco.

More About Tobacco:

Tobacco Facts | Forms of Tobacco | Tobacco Ingredients

Forms of Tobacco

Tobacco Comes in Many Forms

There are lots of different types of tobacco products readily available today, many of which will claim to be safer or less harmful than others. What you need to know is that all forms of tobacco are a risk factor for disease and contain nicotine, an addictive drug. Check out more facts about each kind of tobacco product below.


What You Need to Know:

  • Cigarettes contain more than 7,000 chemicals, 70 of which cause cancer.
  • Cigarette smoking is responsible for about 30% of all cancer deaths.
  • There are an estimated 42 million adult smokers in the U.S., which is about 18% of the adult population.
  • Cigarettes can cause cancer in more than 14 areas of the body, and increase your risk for coronary heart disease and lung disease.


What You Need to Know:

  • The nicotine and other additives in electronic cigarettes are heated up via battery power and delivered to the user in an aerosol form.
  • Studies have found major discrepancies between the labelling and actual nicotine content of e-cigarettes.
  • Use of e-cigarettes among middle school and high school students has tripled since 2011, but researchers warn the long-term consequences are still unknown.


What You Need to Know:

  • Hookah contains toxic substances that cause cancer.
  • Hookah carries many of the same health risks as cigarettes, including clogged arteries and heart disease.
  • Smoking hookah may actually cause you to take in more toxins, because a typical 1-hour sitting will have you inhaling 100-200 times the amount of smoke of a cigarette.


What You Need to Know:

  • Cigars are just as addictive and deadly as cigarettes.
  • Cigar smoking can lead to many of the same cancers as cigarette smoking, as well as heart and lung disease.
  • Unlike cigarettes, it’s legal for cigars in the U.S. to be flavored, which can cover up the harshness of the tobacco smoke.

Bidis & Kreteks

What You Need to Know:

  • Bidis are hand-rolled cigarettes imported from Southeast Asia.
  • Kreteks are clove cigarettes imported from Indonesia that contain 60% tobacco and 40% ground cloves.
  • Both are banned in the U.S. because they have higher amounts of nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide and are often flavored.

Spit or Chewing Tobacco

What You Need to Know:

  • Using chewing tobacco causes cancer of the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, stomach and pancreas.
  • Chewing tobacco has a terrible effect on your oral health, causing receding gums, gum disease and tooth decay.
  • It has also been linked to heart disease and stroke.

Learn more about the deadly ingredients in tobacco products.

More About Tobacco:

Health Effects |  Forms of Tobacco | Tobacco Ingredients

Tobacco Ingredients

Ingredients in Cigarettes & Tobacco Products

There are more than 600 ingredients that go into making a tobacco product like cigarettes. When tobacco is burned, it produces more than 7,000 chemicals in its smoke. Among all of these substances, several hundred are toxic and about 70 cause cancer. But don’t be fooled into thinking that smokeless products like chewing tobacco are safe—they lead to cancer and other diseases too.

Major Ingredients


  • The tobacco plant, Nicotiana tabacum, is a member of the nightshade plant family that includes potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes and peppers.
  • There are many different varieties of tobacco and it is grown in countries around the world.

Watch: Tobacco & Your Brain


  • Nicotine does not cause cancer, but it is a highly addictive drug that occurs naturally in the tobacco plant. (All tobacco products contain nicotine.)
  • Studies have found it to be just as addictive as heroin, and in fact, nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the U.S.

Watch: Nicotine & Addiction

Chemicals in Tobacco Smoke

Cancer-Causing Chemicals

  • Tar: Sticky substance that settles in your lungs. It’s also used to pave roads.
  • Formaldehyde: Used to embalm dead bodies.
  • Benzene: Found in gasoline.
  • Polonium 210: Radioactive and very toxic.
  • Vinyl chloride: Used to make pipes.

Toxic Metals

  • Chromium: Used to make steel.
  • Arsenic: Used in pesticides.
  • Lead: Once used in paint.
  • Cadmium: Used to make batteries.

Poisonous Gases

  • Carbon monoxide: Found in car exhaust fumes and increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Hydrogen cyanide: Used in chemical weapons.
  • Ammonia: Used in household cleaners.
  • Butane: Used in lighter fluid.
  • Toluene: Found in paint thinners.

Source: CDC

Find out the short-term and long-term impact these dangerous ingredients can have on your health.

More About Tobacco

Health Effects |  Forms of Tobacco | Tobacco Ingredients

Tobacco Facts

Facts about Smoking & Using Tobacco

Today we know a lot about the dangers of smoking thanks to decades years of research about tobacco addiction. Here we’ve listed some of the major statistics about the effects of smoking and using tobacco. Read them and then judge for yourself.

10 Tobacco and Addiction Facts

  • On average, the life expectancy of a smoker is 10 years less than a nonsmoker.
  • Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, 70 of which are known to cause cancer.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 smokers start before the age of 18 and almost all start smoking by age 26.
  • Every day, more than 3,200 children and teens under 18 years old smoke their first cigarette. (There are also 2,100 young adults who turn into daily smokers each day.)
  • For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, 20 more people suffer from a smoking-related illness.
  • Smoking and tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year worldwide. Current trends show that this will increase to more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.
  • Smoking is responsible for about 1 in 5 deaths annually in the United States. (That means tobacco causes about 480,000 deaths per year—and 41,000 of those deaths are because of exposure to secondhand smoke).
  • Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis and chronic airway obstruction).
  • Smokers typically inhale about 1 milligram (mg) of nicotine in a single cigarette.4 For some, that’s all it takes to become addicted.
  • Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world.
Looking for more details about smoking and your health? Find out the short-term and long-term health effects of using tobacco.

More About Tobacco

Health Effects |  Forms of Tobacco | Tobacco Ingredients


Six Kids. Two Addictions. Watch What Happens.

Addicteen takes an honest look at tobacco. We asked three high school students to give up social media and three other high school students to give up tobacco.  None of the kids thought they were addicted.

What happens might surprise you.

Get more Tobacco Facts