We know you must have heard or seen on TV from childhood the popular refrain “Smokers are liable to die young” On all cigarette cartons, companies are required to write this in bold letters along with pictures of a normal lung and a smoker’s lungs. Cringe-worthy picture – that of the smoker’s lungs. But most smokers would not quit smoking because of that, if anything there’s a growing concern about an increase in smoking among younger people.
We made a list of the specific reasons smoking is a danger to your health and life according to the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) using peer-reviewed research on this. Tobacco use harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general.
Here are some scary statistics on smoking that you need to know.
Smoking and early death
1. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. And in developing nations, the statistics are grimmer. Smoking affects the health and health outcome of the poorer populations differently than it does those in the wealthier developed world.
2. Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths.
3. Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Illegal drug use, Alcohol use, Motor vehicle injuries
4. Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths.
Smoking causes about 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Smoking and increased health risks.
1. Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer
2. Smokers are at greater risk for diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease).
3. Even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day can have early signs of cardiovascular disease.
4. Tobacco smoke can trigger an attack of asthma or make an attack worse in a smoker or from secondhand smoke.
Smoking and Cancer/fertility/bone health
1. Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body: Bladder, Blood (acute myeloid leukemia), Cervix, Colon, and rectum (colorectal), esophagus, stomach, kidney, ureters, and other organs.
2. Smoking can make it harder for a woman to become pregnant. It can also affect her baby’s health before and after birth. Smoking increases risks for Preterm delivery, Stillbirth, Low birth weight, Sudden infant death syndrome (known as SIDS or crib death), Ectopic pregnancy, Orofacial clefts in infants
3. Smoking can also affect men’s sperm, which can reduce fertility and also increase the risks of birth defects and miscarriage.
4. Smoking can affect bone health. Women past childbearing years who smoke have weaker bones than women who never smoked. They are also at greater risk for broken bones.
5. Smoking affects the health of your teeth and gums and can cause tooth loss.
6. Smoking can increase your risk for cataracts (clouding of the eye’s lens that makes it hard for you to see). It can also cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
7. Smoking is a cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus and can make it harder to control. The risk of developing diabetes is 30–40% higher for active smokers than nonsmokers.
8. Smoking is a cause of rheumatoid arthritis.
Smoking is an addiction even for those who take fewer than 5 sticks a week. Resisting the nicotine craving may be hard like all addictions but beneficial in the end. We recommend that smokers seek help from a licensed healthcare provider who would work with an addiction specialist to help with measured and consistent therapy.
Now you know! Educate others.
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