The Other Cost of Smoking
Using tobacco eats up a lot of money, too. A pack of cigarettes costs about $6, on average. That means, even if you buy just one pack a week, you’ll spend $312 in a year. Some people smoke a pack a day, which adds up to $2,190! That’s a lot of computer games and clothes you could buy instead.
What’s It Like?
Usually, people don’t like smoking or chewing tobacco at first. Your body is smart, and it knows when it’s being poisoned. When people try smoking for the first time, they often cough a lot and feel pain or burning in their throat and lungs. This is your lungs’ way of trying to protect you and tell you to keep them smoke free.
Also, many people say that they feel sick to their stomachs or even throw up. If someone accidentally swallows chewing tobacco, they may be sick for hours. Yuck.
What if My Friend Smokes?
If you have friends who smoke or use tobacco, you can help them by encouraging them to quit. Here are some reasons you can mention
- It will hurt their health.
- It will make their breath stinky.
- It will turn their teeth yellow.
- It will give them less endurance when running or playing sports.
- It’s expensive.
- It’s illegal to buy cigarettes when you’re underage.
If you think it will help, you could print out articles like this one to give to a friend who smokes. He or she may be interested in learning more about the dangers of smoking.
But people don’t like to hear that they’re doing something wrong, so your pal also could be a little angry. If that happens, don’t push it too much. In time, your friend may realize you are right.
In the meantime, it could help to talk with a parent or a school counselor if you’re worried about your friend. When your friend is ready, a grownup can help him or her quit for good. If your friend decides to quit, lend your support. You might say it’s time to kick some butts!
Reviewed by Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed January 2013
Cancer statistics smoking and cancer statistics
When people think of cancers caused by smoking, the first one that comes to mind is always lung cancer. Most cases of lung cancer death, close to 90% in men, and 80% in women are caused by cigarette smoking. There are several other forms of cancer attributed to smoking as well, and they include cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, bladder, stomach, cervix, kidney and pancreas, and acute myeloid leukemia. The list of additives allowed in the manufacture of cigarettes consists of 599 possible ingredients. When burned, cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals, with over 40 of them being known carcinogens.
- Cancer is the second leading cause of death and was among the first diseases causally linked to smoking.
- Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, and cigarette smoking causes most cases.
- Compared to nonsmokers, men who smoke are about 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer and women who smoke are about 13 times more likely. Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80% in women.
- In 2003, an estimated 171,900 new cases of lung cancer occurred and approximately 157,200 people died from lung cancer.
- The 2004 Surgeon General’s report adds more evidence to previous conclusions that smoking causes cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, lung and bladder.
- Cancer causing agents (carcinogens) in tobacco smoke damage important genes that control the growth of cells, causing them to grow abnormally or to reproduce too rapidly.
- Cigarette smoking is a major cause of esophageal cancer in the United States. Reductions in smoking and smokeless tobacco use could prevent many of the approximately 12,300 new cases and 12,100 deaths from esophgeal cancer that occur annually.
- The combination of smoking and alcohol consumption causes most laryngeal cancer cases. In 2003, an estimated 3800 deaths occurred from laryngeal cancer.
- In 2003, an estimated 57,400 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed and an estimated 12,500 died from the disease.
- For smoking attributable cancers, the risk generally increases with the number of cigarettes smoked and the number of years of smoking, and generally decreases after quitting completely.
- Smoking cigarettes that have a lower yield of tar does not substantially reduce the risk for lung cancer.
- Cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing mouth cancers. This risk also increases among people who smoke pipes and cigars.
- Reductions in the number of people who smoke cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and other tobacco products or use smokeless tobacco could prevent most of the estimated 30,200 new cases and 7,800 deaths from oral cavity and pharynx cancers annually in the United States.
New cancers confirmed by this report
- The 2004 Surgeon General’s report newly identifies other cancers caused by smoking, including cancers of the stomach, cervix, kidney, and pancreas and acute myeloid leukemia.
- In 2003, an estimated 22,400 new cases of stomach cancer were diagnosed, and an estimated 12,100 deaths were expected to occur.
- Former smokers have lower rates of stomach cancer than those who continue to smoke.
- For women, the risk of cervical cancer increases with the duration of smoking.
- In 2003, an estimated 31,900 new cases of kidney cancer were diagnosed, and an estimated 11,900 people died from the disease.
- In 2003, an estimated 30,700 new cases of pancreatic cancer were diagnosed, attributing to 30,000 deaths. The median time from diagnosis to death from pancreatic cancer is about 3 months.
- In 2003, approximately 10,500 cases of acute myeloid leukemia were diagnosed in adults.
- Benzene is a known cause of acute myleoid leukemia, and cigarette smoke is a major source of benzene exposure. Among U.S. smokers, 90% of benzene exposures come from cigarettes.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking A Report of the Surgeon General. 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, 2004.
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and has negative health impacts on people at all stages of life. It harms unborn babies, infants, children, adolescents, adults, and seniors.