Tobacco and Athletic Performance
Tobacco and Personal Appearance
- Don't get trapped. Nicotine in cigarettes, cigars, and spit tobacco is addictive.
- Nicotine narrows your blood vessels and puts added strain on your heart.
- Smoking can wreck lungs and reduce oxygen available for muscles used during sports.
- Smokers suffer shortness of breath (gasp!) almost 3 times more often than nonsmokers.
- Smokers run slower and can't run as far, affecting overall athletic performance.
- Cigars and spit tobacco are NOT safe alternatives.
- Yuck! Tobacco smoke can make hair and clothes stink.
- Tobacco stains teeth and causes bad breath.
- Short-term use of spit tobacco can cause cracked lips, white spots, sores, and bleeding in the mouth.
- Surgery to remove oral cancers caused by tobacco use can lead to serious changes in the face. Sean Marcee, a high school star athlete who used spit tobacco, died of oral cancer when he was 19 years old.
- Know the truth. Despite all the tobacco use on TV and in movies, music videos, billboards and magazines - most teens, adults, and athletes DON'T use tobacco.
- Make friends, develop athletic skills, control weight, be independent, be cool ... play sports.
- Don't waste (burn) money on tobacco. Spend it on CD's, clothes, computer games, and movies.
- Get involved: make your team, school, and home tobacco-free; teach others; join community efforts to prevent tobacco use.
Information from the US National Center For Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
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