Smoking, Vaping and Tobacco
- Preventing Nicotine Addiction
- Quitting Smoking or Vaping
- Smoke and Vapour-free Policies
- Smoke-free Act (SFOA)
- Educator Resources
Making healthy choices like eating well, being more active, sleeping well, drinking less (or no) alcohol, and quitting tobacco will not only reduce your risk for chronic diseases, but will also make you feel better. Of these choices, quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health. You will start seeing health benefits soon after your last cigarette.
20 minutes: your heart rate and blood pressure drop
8 hours: your carbon monoxide levels drop, your oxygen levels improve
24 hours: your risk of having a heart attack starts to drop
48 hours: your sense of smell and taste start to improve
2 weeks to 3 months: your lungs are working up to 30% better than before and you may be breathing easier
1 year: your risk of heart disease is cut in half
5 years: your risk of a stroke is now the same as a non-smoker
10 years: your risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half and your risk of developing mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and/or pancreas cancers decreases
15 years: your risk of heart disease is like that of a non-smoker
What is public health’s role?
Public health units across Ontario work to reduce the harm caused by commercial tobacco products. This includes:
- supporting and developing strategies to prevent people (especially youth and young adults) from ever starting to smoke or vape,
- supporting people in their journey to quit smoking or vaping,
- working with organizations and other community partners to create and promote smoke and vapour-free policies, including those for multi-unit housing (e.g., apartments, condos), colleges and universities, and workplaces,
- protecting people from exposure to second-hand smoke and vapour through enforcement of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA),
- promoting educator resources, and
- promoting health professional resources.
Commercial tobacco and nicotine addiction
Tobacco products contain nicotine, a very addictive drug. Your brain and body quickly get used to the effects of nicotine and need more and more to avoid withdrawal symptoms like having trouble concentrating or feeling irritable. Nicotine can also be found in vaping products and increases the risks of further nicotine addiction in youth and young adults.
It is important to note that commercial tobacco is tobacco that is grown, manufactured, and sold for profit by the tobacco industry. It does not include traditional tobacco.
Traditional tobacco, also known as ceremonial or sacred tobacco, is very different from commercial tobacco. Traditional tobacco has been used by Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years as a sacred medicine and is an important part of culture and spiritual connectedness. To learn more, visit Tobacco Wise.
This item was last modified on November 23, 2023