Health Tips / Quit Smoking / The Dangers of Smoking

The Dangers of Smoking 

Smoking, vaping and using other tobacco products leads to disease and disability. Tobacco harms nearly all organs of the body. Smoking can weaken the body’s immune system, making it harder to fight infections and other diseases. 

Even secondhand smoke can cause stroke, lung cancer and heart diseases in adults. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome (baby's death with no cause) and respiratory infections. Secondhand smoke can also cause children with asthma to have severe asthma attacks. 

Using tobacco increases the risk of:

  • Cancer almost anywhere in your body, such as lung, stomach, esophagus, colon, kidney, bladder, liver and cervix
  • Heart disease (illness of the heart)
  • Stroke (when blood supply to the brain is cut off)
  • Certain eye diseases 
  • Problems of the immune systems, including rheumatoid arthritis (joint swelling)


E-cigarettes (also known as “vape pens,” “e-cigs” or “e-hookahs”) come in many shapes and sizes. Most have a heating element, nicotine and sometimes other drugs, and a place to hold a liquid to inhale. 

Vaping may seem safer than smoking cigarettes, but it’s not. 

  • Most e-cigarettes have nicotine: even some that say they don’t 
  • Nicotine can harm parts of the brain that control attention, learning and mood – making e-cigarettes particularly unsafe for kids, teens and young adults
  • Just like regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes can have other harmful substances besides nicotine, including cancer-causing chemicals 

Kick It California helps people quit the nicotine habit, including vaping. For help, visit or call:

  • English:  1-800-300-8086 
  • Español: 1-800-600-8191
  • 中文 (Chinese): 1-800-838-8917
  • 한국인 (Korean): 1-800-556-5564
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese): 1-800-778-8440 

More about the dangers of smoking and tips on how to quit