Young athletes spend years honing their skills, but their use of tobacco products is killing their performance. Smoking cigarettes has an immediate effect on breathing by narrowing airway passageways and increasing the amount of carbon monoxide in the blood stream. This lack of oxygen in the blood has a significant effect on heart and other muscle cells where there is a high demand for oxygen during sports. The decrease in oxygen going to the muscles increases the chance for injury and slows the ability to repair ligaments and tendons which means more time sitting on the bench. Smokeless tobacco is just as damaging as cigarettes as the nicotine increases heart rate and blood pressure within a few minutes of use and places an added burden on the heart which could cause problems during sports.