Health effects of smoking cigarettes

  • Every year hundreds of thousands of people around the world die from diseases caused by smoking cigarettes Smoking KILLS.
  • One in two lifetime smokers will die from their habit. Half of these deaths will occur in middle age.
  • Tobacco smoke also contributes to a number of cancers.
  • The mixture of nicotine and carbon monoxide in each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your heart rate and blood pressure, straining your heart and blood vessels.
  • This can cause heart attacks and stroke. It slows your blood flow, cutting off oxygen to your feet and hands. Some smokers end up having their limbs
    amputated
    .
  • Tar coats your lungs like soot in a chimney and causes cancer. A 20 a day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.
  • Changing to low tar cigarettes does not help because smokers usually take deeper puffs and hold the smoke in for longer, dragging the tar deeper into their lungs.
  • Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.
  • Smoking causes disease and is a slow way to die. The strain of smoking effects on the body often causes years of suffering.
  • Emphysema for example is an illness that slowly rots your lungs. People with emphysema often get bronchitis again and again, and suffer lung and heart failure.
  • Lung cancer from smoking is caused by the tar in tobacco smoke.
  • Men who smoke are ten times more likely to die from lung cancer than non smokers.
  • Heart disease and strokes are also more common among smokers than non smokers.
  • Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which leads to heart attack.
  • Smoking causes around one in five deaths from heart disease.
  • In younger people, three out of four deaths from heart disease are due to smoking
  • Cigarette smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight, prematurity, spontaneous abortion, and perinatal mortality in humans, which has been referred to as the fetal tobacco syndrome.

As mentioned earlier, this list can only begin to convey some of the long and short term effects of smoking cigarettes. We know that smoking kills and that quitting makes sense but what about the the effect on others?

We consider reasons why smoking is bad for those around you next, in the effects of second hand smoke.

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Cdc — fact sheet — fast facts — smoking & tobacco use

Diseases and DeathTobacco use leads to disease and disability.

  • Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction), and diabetes.1
  • For every person who dies from a smoking related disease, about 30 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking.1
  • More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking.1

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death.

  • Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.2
  • Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure.1 This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.1
  • On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.3
  • If smoking persists at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today s Americans younger than 18 years of age are projected to die prematurely from a smoking related illness. This represents about one in every 13 Americans aged 17 years or younger who are alive today.1

Costs and ExpendituresThe tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year on cigarette advertising and promotions.4

  • $8.4 billion total spent in 2011
  • Almost $23 million spent every day in 2011

Tobacco use costs the United States billions of dollars each year, including 1

  • More than $289 billion a year, including at least $133 billion in direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity
  • $5.6 billion a year (2006 data) in lost productivity from exposure to secondhand smoke

State spending on tobacco prevention and control does not meet CDC recommended levels.1,5,6

  • Collectively, states have billions of dollars available to them from tobacco excise taxes and tobacco industry legal settlements for preventing and controlling tobacco use. States currently use a very small percentage of these funds for tobacco control programs.
  • In fiscal year 2014, states will collect $25.7 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements, but states will spend only 1.9% of the $25.7 billion on prevention and cessation programs.
  • No states currently fund tobacco control programs at CDC’s «recommended» level. Only two states (Alaska and North Dakota) fund tobacco control programs at the «minimum» level.
  • Investing less than 15% (i.e., $3.3 billion) of the $25.7 billion would fund every state tobacco control program at CDC recommended levels.

Cigarette Smoking in the United StatesPercentage of U.S. adults aged 18 years or older who were current cigarette smokers in 2012 7

  • 18.1% of all adults (42.1 million people) 20.1% of males, 14.5% of females
  • 21.8% of non Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives
  • 19.7% of non Hispanic Whites
  • 18.1% of non Hispanic Blacks
  • 12.5% of Hispanics
  • 10.7% of non Hispanic Asians (excluding Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders)
  • 26.1% of multiple race individuals

Notes

  • Current smokers are defined as persons who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime and who, at the time of interview, reported smoking every day or some days.

Thousands of young people start smoking cigarettes every day1

  • Each day, more than 3,200 persons younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.
  • Each day, an estimated 2,100 youth and young adults who have been occasional smokers become daily cigarette smokers.

Many adult cigarette smokers want to quit smoking.

  • In 2011 1
    • 68.9% of adult smokers wanted to stop smoking
    • 42.7% had made a quit attempt in the past year

Notes

  • See CDC’s Smoking Cessation fact sheet for more information.
  • «Made a quit attempt» refers to smokers who reported that they stopped smoking for more than 1 day in the past 12 months because they were trying to quit smoking.

References

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking 50 Years of Progress A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 accessed 2014 Apr 24 .
  2. World Health Organization. WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2011. Geneva World Health Organization, 2011 accessed 2014 Apr 24 .
  3. Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, Rostron B, Thun M, Anderson RN, McAfee T, Peto R. 21st Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 2013 368 341 50 accessed 2014 Apr 24 .
  4. Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2011. PDF 325 KB Washington Federal Trade Commission, 2013 accessed 2014 Apr 24 .
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs 2014. Atlanta U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 accessed 2014 Apr 24 .
  6. Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Broken Promises to Our Children The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 15 Years Later. Washington Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, 2013 accessed 2014 Apr 24 .
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults United States, 2005 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2014 63(02) 29 34 accessed 2014 Apr 24 .

For Further Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
E mail tobaccoinfo
Phone 1 800 CDC INFO

Media Inquiries Contact CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health press line at 770 488 5493.


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