Cigarette Smoking and Cancer: Questions and Answers

african american woman blowing out cigarette smokeCigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths and is responsible for most cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, and bladder (see Question 1).

Secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths among U.S. nonsmokers each year (see Question 2).

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemical agents, including over 60 substances that are known to cause cancer (see Question 3).

The risk of developing smoking-related cancers, as well as noncancerous diseases, increases with total lifetime exposure to cigarette smoke (see Question 4).

Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits, including decreasing the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease (see Question 5).