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Take the pledge to be tobacco free


Congratulations! By making the right decision right now, you have taken a huge step along the Trail of Courage. Use the information on this page to help you continue your tobacco-free journey.

Explore the effects tobacco can have on your body. Click on the circles to learn more.

Every time you smoke a cigarette, you breathe in ammonia, arsenic, butane, cadmium, ethanol, toluene, and more. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 different chemicals, 37 of which cause cancer. Smokeless tobacco, too is deadly, containing cancer-causing substances.

It’s no surprise that tobacco use leads to one of every five deaths in the United States. Tobacco kills more Americans than HIV/AIDS, alcohol, illegal drugs, car wrecks, suicide, and murder combined.

You’ve probably heard that smoking causes lung cancer. But did you know that tobacco attacks nearly every part your body? View the body to the right for a rundown of some of the damage tobacco does—from your brain to your big toe.


– Take a stand and stick up for yourself.
– Say no, and warn about the consequences.
– Say no, but try to add a little humor to your refusal.
– Steer clear and avoid the pressure.
– Say no, and change the subject or suggest something else.
– Reverse the pressure, put on a little pressure of your own.
– Say no, and walk away with no explanation.
– Say no, and ask a question.
– Say no, and give a reason for your refusal.


Click here to download the Trail of Courage discussion guide.


Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
National Institute on Drug Abuse
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Right Decisions Right Now
American Lung Association

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