There are 612,301 (17.1%) adult tobacco users in Connecticut,
approximately 4,700 die of smoking related causes each year,
which is about 13 deaths each day.
The effects of tobacco can start immediately even after the first use.
Although someone may not feel symptoms of these effects right away, most will begin to damage the body with the first cigarette –some can cause irreversible damage.1
Some Immediate Effects of Tobacco Use:2
Altered brain chemistry- decreasing the dopamine receptors in the brain which tell cells how to function. Dopamine, when released, gives a person the sense of reward. Decreasing dopamine receptors is thought to leave a person with longer, more intense cravings for what they like. (in this case, tobacco)
People who smoke die 13 to 14 years earlier than non-smokers
Increased heart rate and blood pressure – making the heart have to work harder and therefore more likely to wear out quicker.
- Bad breath, yellow teeth and stained fingers and nails
Some medium and long term health effects from tobacco use:3
Cancers of the lip, oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, larynx (voice box), lung, uterine cervix, bladder, and kidney
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Smokers who have a heart attack are
to die and die
(within 1 hour)
than are nonsmokers.
Dementia including Alzheimer's disease4
Most adult tobacco users began using tobacco before 18 years of age. Most regret ever having started.
Quitting tobacco use is one of the greatest things you can do for a healthy future. (For help quitting click here)
Benefits of Quitting
- Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette, your heart rate calms down.
- Within 8 hours, there is much more oxygen in your blood, and mucus begins to clear out of your lungs, making it easier to breathe.
- Within 48 hours, things smell and taste better.
- Within 3 months, blood circulation improves, and your body is better able to fight infection.
- Within 9 months, you have less sinus congestion, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
- After 1 year, your risk of dying of a heart attack is cut in half.
- After 5 years, you have much less chance of having a stroke.
- After 10 years, your risk of getting lung cancer is cut in half.
Tobacco Use and Older Adults
Older tobacco users are at greater risks from tobacco because they:
- Have used tobacco longer (an average of 40 years),
- Tend to be heavier users,
- Are more likely to suffer from tobacco-related illnesses and,
- Are significantly less likely than younger tobacco users to believe that tobacco harms their health.5
- 18.9% percent of all adult smokers are over the age of 45.
- 7.4 % of residents over 65 years of age currently smoked.6
Smoking as an older adult:7
- Approximately 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and men are because of smoking.
- Smoking is the major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and lower respiratory tract infections, which are all leading causes of death in people over the age of 50.
- Men 65 or older who smoke are twice as likely to die from a stroke than non-smokers of the same age
- Women smokers 65 or older are about 150% more likely to die from a stroke than non-smokers of the same age.
- Smokers have a much greater chance of developing dementia of any kind, including Alzheimer's disease, than nonsmokers.
- Smokers also have two to three times the risk of developing cataracts, the leading cause of blindness and visual loss, as nonsmokers.
As there are immediate effects on your body when you use tobacco - there are also immediate health benefits to your body as soon as you quit.
You are never too old and it is never too late to quit!
When an older person quits smoking:
- Circulation improves immediately
- The lungs begin to repair damage.
- In one year, the added risk of heart disease is cut almost in half, and risk of stroke, lung disease, and cancer diminish.
- Among smokers who quit at age 65, men gained 1.4 to 2.0 years of life and women gained 2.7 to 3.4 years. 8
A study found that middle-aged smokers and former smokers with mild or moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease breathed easier after quitting. 9
(For more information on quitting review the quitting section.)
For More information on Adult Tobacco Use
A Quick Look at Smoking in Connecticut (2008 59.6 KB pdf)
The Costs & Consequences of Tobacco Use (2002 24.7 KB pdf)
Women and Smoking (2008 57.1 KB pdf)
Report on Tobacco Usage Behaviors and Attitudes in Connecticut (2005 3.47 MB pdf)
2006 Connecticut Adult Tobacco Survey (10.0 MB pdf)
Cigarette Smoking Among Connecticut and US Adults (2007 74.7 KB pdf)
2010 Adult Cigarette Smoking in Connecticut (2010 678 KB)
2008 Adult Smoking in Connecticut (2008 3.83 MB pdf)
Trends in Adult Smoking in Connecticut (2008 9,561 KB)
Back to Homepage
Content Last Modified on 1/14/2013 11:56:17 AM