Smoking and Cancer – Facts and Statistics

smoking and cancer
Cigarette smoking is injurious to health. Most of us started smoking as an act of imitation of the elders. We felt we were matured and grown up. Some of us picked up the habit of smoking after learning from various sources that smoking reduces appetite. We were so conscious of our figure that we got into it. Some took it up as a matter of relaxation.

Harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke

Research tells us that cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 chemical agents. Out of which those 4000 chemical agents over 60 of them are carcinogenic . Many of these toxic substances are carbon monoxide, tar, arsenic, and lead. Tobacco contains Nicotine which is a drug and a major cause of addiction in the smokers. Blood absorbs nicotine and transports it to the brain. The intoxication cause by nicotine is similar to the addiction produced by using heroin and cocaine.

Some hard facts about Smoking and Cancer

  • Cigarette smoking alone is directly responsible for approximately 30 percent of all cancer deaths annually in the United States
  • Cigarette smoking also causes chronic lung disease (emphysema and chronic bronchitis), cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cataracts.
  • Smoking during pregnancy can cause stillbirth, low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and other serious pregnancy complications
  • Effects of cigarette smoking on cancer rates
  • Cigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women
  • Smoking is also responsible for most cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, and bladder. In addition, it is a cause of kidney, pancreatic, cervical, and stomach cancers as well as acute myeloid leukemia

Health risks for nonsmokers

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke, or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), significantly increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmokers, as well as several respiratory illnesses in young children
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke affect the cigarette smoker
  • Smoking harms nearly every major organ of the body.
  • The risk of developing smoking-related diseases, such as lung and other cancers, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses, increases with total lifetime exposure to cigarette smoke.This includes the number of cigarettes a person smokes each day, the age at which smoking began, the number of years a person has smoked, and a smoker’s secondhand smoke exposure.

Why quit smoking helps

  • Quit smoking affect the risk of developing cancer and other diseases
  • Quit smoking brings major health benefits on the long run for men and women of all ages
  • Quit smoking decreases the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease
  • Research has shown that people who quit before the age of 50 reduce their risk of dying in the next 15 years by half compared with those who continue to smoke
  • Smoking low-yield cigarettes, as compared to cigarettes with higher tar and nicotine, provides no clear benefit to health

Source: National Cancer Institute