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Gannett Health Services
110 Ho Plaza
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-3101

Tel: 607 255-5155
Fax: 607 255-0269

Tobacco use began hundreds of centuries ago; it was chewed and smoked for its intoxicant, medicinal, sacred, and social properties. Today, throughout most parts of the world, tobacco has become one of the most widely used addictive drugs.

According to the CDC, "Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Each year, an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million have a serious illness caused by smoking."

Research has shown that even smoking 1-4 cigarettes per day can have serious health consequences. So if you are looking for motivation for you or a friend to quit, click to read more tobacco facts (pdf).

Tobacco Use and College Students

College student tobacco use since Spring, 2000 has decreased significantly. 

The National College Health Assessment (NCHA), the largest annual survey of college student health in the U.S., shows promising changes in smoking behaviors between 2000 and 2010. 

Thirty day prevalence of cigarette smoking 2000 2010
Never used
52 66.4
Used, but not in last 30 days
15.7 17.6
Used 1-9 days
12.7 8.1
Used 10-29 days
8.6 2.7
Used all 30 days
10.6 5.2


Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are fairly new to the tobacco scene. However, the CDC has already reported a dramatic rise in usage among young people in their short time on the market. Because e-cigarettes have not been fully studied, it is too early to know what the long term effects are.


Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking & Health—50th Anniversary: 1964-2014