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The Health Effects of Smoking

The  Health Effects of Smoking

22 March 2021

Anne Penman

The Health Effects of Smoking

Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general. Quitting smoking lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases and can add years to your life.


Smoking and Death

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and causes more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States.

Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following combined:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Illegal drug use
  • Alcohol use
  • Motor vehicle injuries
  • Firearm-related incidents

  • More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States!
  • Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths. More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.
  • Smoking causes about 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Cigarette smoking increases the risk of death from all causes in men and women.
  • The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in the U.S.

Smoking and Cancer

Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body:

  • Bladder
  • Blood (acute myeloid leukemia)
  • Cervix
  • Colon and rectum (colorectal)
  • Esophagus
  • Kidney and ureter
  • Larynx
  • Liver
  • Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and tonsils)
  • Pancreas
  • Stomach
  • Trachea, bronchus, and lung

Smoking also increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors.

If nobody smoked, one of every three cancer deaths in the United States would not happen


Quitting and Reduced Risks

  • Quitting smoking cuts cardiovascular risks. Just 1 year after quitting smoking, your risk for a heart attack drops sharply.
  • Within 2 - 5 years after quitting smoking, your risk of stroke may reduce to about that of a nonsmoker.
  • If you quit smoking, your risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder drop by half within 5 years.
  • Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk for dying from lung cancer drops by half.

Ref: https://www.cdc.gov/


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