Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. In Washington State, tobacco kills about 7,600 people every year.
The only way to avoid the harmful effects of tobacco is to avoid using tobacco all together and avoid areas where you could be exposed to secondhand smoke. If you or someone you know currently uses tobacco, the best option is to quit in order to reduce the risk of developing a tobacco-related disease.
What is in a cigarette?
There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, they create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous.
Here are a few of the chemicals in cigarette smoke and other places they are found:
- Acetone – found in nail polish remover
- Acetic Acid – an ingredient in hair dye
- Ammonia – a common household cleaner
- Arsenic – used in rat poison
- Benzene – found in rubber cement
- Butane – used in lighter fluid
- Cadmium – active component in battery acid
- Carbon Monoxide – released in car exhaust fumes
- Formaldehyde – embalming fluid
- Hexamine – found in barbecue lighter fluid
- Lead – used in batteries
- Naphthalene – an ingredient in mothballs
- Methanol – a main component in rocket fuel * Nicotine – used as insecticide
- Nicotine – used as insecticide
- Tar – material for paving roads
- Toluene – used to manufacture paint (ALA)
It’s never to late to quit tobacco. If you or someone you know is thinking about quitting, use these tools and resources listed below.
Washington State Quit Lines
- English | 1-800-QUI-TNOW | 1-800-784-8669
- Spanish | 1-877-2NO-FUME | 1-877-266-3863
- Deaf & Hard of Hearing | 1-877-777-6534
- Getting Help to Quit Tobacco
- Benefits of Quitting | CDC
Smoke- and tobacco-free environments help protect individuals from secondhand and thirdhand smoke. They also make it easier for people to quit and support those who have quit by eliminating potential triggers.
- Tobacco-Free Colleges
- Tobacco-Free Workplaces
- Tobacco-Free Parks
- Smoking in Public Places (RCW 70.160): Passed in 2005, the SIPP law requires every local public health district to enforce the law and educate businesses and employers about the law so they know how to comply with it
- Explanatory Letter | English | Spanish | Korean
- Do You Sell Tobacco or Vapor Products? | English | Spanish | Korean
- Don’t Sell Tobacco or Vapor Products to Youth | English | Spanish | Korean
Report a Violation
Report a violation if you see:
- Secondhand smoke exposure near you
- Illegal underage sales
- Smoking/vaping in public places or the workplace
- If you believe the law is being violated
To submit a complaint against a business or workplace you believe is violating the SIPP law or the local vaping ordinance, call us at 509-766-7960
Only the police can enforce the law when an individual person smokes in violation of it. To report an individual who is violating the law, call your local police department.
- Tobacco | DOH
- Be Tobacco Free
- Smoking & Tobacco Use | CDC
- Tobacco Products | FDA
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
- Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights
- Truth Initiative
- American Lung Association
- Talk to Your Kids about Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs
- Talk With Your Teen
- Tobacco Free Sports
Questions? Please call GCHD at 509-766-7960