A Healthier Community

The Health Education office is dedicated to making UNK’s campus as healthy as possible. The health risks of both smoking tobacco and smokeless tobacco are no secret, therefore our office has increased its efforts to educate the community and lower the risk of tobacco related illness for both smokers and nonsmokers. For more information, we encourage you to visit:


What is Your Risk?

1st Hand Smoke

Simply put, first-hand smoke involves completely preventable risks. In fact, the only way to bear the consequences is for the individual to do the smoking. The effects of this are a shorter lifespan, blackened lungs, and other tobacco-related health concerns.

2nd Hand Smoke

Second-hand smoke is smoke from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe that is inhaled by somebody who is not the smoker and if done regularly over an extended period of time, and can damage the health of the ‘non-smoker’ . The symptoms are similar to those of smokers, such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, and reduced lung function.

3rd Hand Smoke

While many of us may be aware of the threat that second-hand smoke poses, third-hand smoke has an increased risk due to a lack of public knowledge. In simple terms, third-hand smoke is the residue left behind on surfaces such as walls, floors, countertops, and furniture after a person has smoked in the area. This residue can linger on such surfaces long after the smoking has stopped and can be difficult to clean as it resists normal cleaning procedures. Third-hand smoke puts children and adult non-smokers at risk of tobacco related illnesses and conditions (Dale, 2013). However, the dangers of third-hand smoke do not stop there. The residue combines and reacts with other chemicals in the environment to create a substance that is highly cancer causing, or carcinogenic substance. These carcinogens are especially dangerous because they are more concentrated than those in secondhand smoke.

Smokeless Tobacco

Although many individuals place a great deal of focus on smoking tobacco, one must be aware of the significant dangers of chewing tobacco as well. For instance, smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents and can also be a gateway into cigarette smoking. Seventy percent of people who use chewing tobacco get mouth sores. These consequences can persist and turn into oral or stomach cancer. In addition to this, chewing tobacco is related to increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeats, which may lead to heart attack and brain damage.