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A Fact Sheet on the Health Effects of Smoking

May 7, 2012

Smoking can harm almost every organ in the body and contribute to a wide range of life-threatening diseases. Here are some alarming facts that can serve as motivation for smokers to quit smoking:

Smoking and Death

  • smoking increases risk of heart diseaseThe negative health effects of smoking account for approximately 443,000 deaths in the United States every year. That is almost one out of every five deaths.
  • Tobacco use causes more deaths every year than auto accident injuries, murders, suicides, alcohol use, illegal drug use, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) combined.

Smoking Increases Health Risks

It is estimated that smoking can increase the risk of:

  • lung cancer in men by 23 times
  • lung cancer in women by 13 times
  • coronary heart disease by 2-4 times
  • stroke by 2-4 times
  • death from chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other obstructive lung diseases by 12-13 times

Smoking and Cancer

Smoking can contribute to the development of the following cancers:

  • lung cancer
  • stomach cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • bladder cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • acute myeloid leukemia
  • cancer of the esophagus
  • cancer of the cervix
  • cancer of the oral cavity
  • cancer of the larynx
  • cancer of the pharynx

Smoking and Heart Disease

  • Smoking leads to coronary heart disease, the number one cause of death in the US.
  • Smoking narrows the blood vessels and reduces blood circulation, making smokers more susceptible to peripheral vascular disease.
  • It is also known that smoking can cause abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Smoking and Respiratory Disease

  • Smoking causes bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases by damaging the airways and air sacs in the lungs.
  • Smoking accounts for approximately 90% of all deaths resulting from chronic obstructive lung disease.
  • About 90% of men and 80% of women who die of lung cancer are smokers.

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