Smoking at UNB | UNB

Smoking at UNB

Tobacco smoke continues to be a major contributing factor in the development of serious health problems, including coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and various cancers. Exposure to second-hand smoke poses a significant health hazard to non-smokers. Further vapours created by other forms of smoking, such as e-cigarettes, vaping and juuling, pose health risks that have not yet been fully identified and can be as offensive as tobacco smoke to members of our community.

As part of our commitment to advancing health and societal well-being through research, teaching and community service, we strive to promote a healthy and safe environment in our community and on our campuses. Our focus will be on raising awareness of our smoke-free commitment and supporting those who would like to quit smoking.

All UNB campuses will become smoke-free as of Sept. 1, 2022.

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Smoking and your health

Tobacco kills up to half its users

Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for chronic diseases, such as cancer, lung disease and cardiovascular disease, that kill hundreds of New Brunswickers each year. The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco kills up to half its users, making it one of the world’s greatest public health threats.

Tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, including:

  • Nicotine
  • acetaldehyde
  • arsenic
  • benzene
  • formaldehyde
  • inorganic lead
  • napthalene
  • nickel and
  • vinyl chloride

More than 70 of these chemicals are known carcinogens.

Once the smoke is in your lungs, these chemicals are transferred into your bloodstream and to your entire body.

Tobacco-free living is essential to a healthy lifestyle.

The best way to reduce health risks associated with smoking is not to smoke at all.

Living tobacco-free means avoiding exposure to smoke, not starting to smoke and, if you currently smoke, quitting.

There’s no safe amount of smoking. Whether you’re a daily or occasional smoker, smoking increases the risk of damage to your lungs, blood vessels and cells throughout your body. It can cause serious health problems for you and everyone around you, and even lead to death. The longer you smoke, the higher your chances are of developing serious health problems. 1 Canadian dies from tobacco-related illness every 14 minutes.

A Life Expectancy Calculator can give you an idea of your life expectancy based on your current age, smoking habits, and several other important lifestyle choices.

Short-term effects of smoking

Lung damage: Shortness of breath, coughing, mucus and chest infections are signs that smoking is damaging your lungs.

Skin damage and wrinkles: Tar from tobacco smoke turns your fingers yellow and stains your fingernails. Smoking decreases blood flow to the skin. This leads to leathery-looking skin and increased wrinkling, even when you're young.

Mouth problems: Smoking makes it harder for your saliva to remove germs in your mouth. You'll get stains, bad breath, and a higher chance of gum disease - even if you're young. Smoking is the main reason people get tongue and mouth cancers.

Stomach ulcers: Smokers are more prone to peptic ulcers. They don't heal as fast in smokers, and they're more likely to recur. There's also growing evidence that smoking may increase the risk of chronic bowel disease.

Psoriasis: Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to develop psoriasis - a disfiguring red and silver rash that can occur anywhere on your body.

Long-term effects of smoking

Addiction: Nicotine in cigarettes is a powerful, addictive drug that enters your brain within just 10 seconds of taking a puff on a cigarette. It alters how your brain works and can be harder to quit than heroin.

Lung disease: If you smoke, you're as much as 20 times more likely to die of lung cancer. But long before that, you'll find your lung capacity decreased.You may develop asthma or emphysema (often called "lung rot"). 90% of all cases of emphysema are caused by smoking.

Throat cancer: Four out of every five cases of cancer of the esophagus are due to smoking. As smoke enters your throat, cancer-causing chemicals condense on your mucous membranes.

Heart disease: Smoking is a major cause of heart attacks. Within one minute of your first puff on a cigarette, your heart begins to beat faster. Your blood vessels clamp down, raising your blood pressure and forcing your heart to work harder. Early signs of heart disease and stroke can be found even in young smokers.

Cataracts: The more you smoke, the greater your chance of developing cataracts -- an eye problem that can cause blindness. Even former smokers have a 50 percent higher risk of developing a cataract.

Reproductive issues and pregnancy

Smoking is linked to a number of serious reproductive health issues including:

  • impotence or erectile dysfunction
  • cervical cancer
  • menstrual problems
  • early menopause
  • lower estrogen levels
  • difficulty getting pregnant
  • miscarriage
  • premature delivery
Source: Goverment of Canada,