Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking
The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for 440,000 deaths,
or nearly 1 of every 5 deaths, each year in the United States. More deaths are
caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency
virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides,
and murders combined.
- The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 22 times higher among men
who smoke cigarettes, and about 12 times higher among women who smoke cigarettes
compared with never smokers.
- Cigarette smoking increases the risk for many types of cancer, including
cancers of the lip, oral cavity, and pharynx; esophagus; pancreas; larynx (voice
box); lung; uterine cervix; urinary bladder; and kidney.
- Rates of cancers related to cigarette smoking vary widely among members of
racial/ethnic groups, but are generally highest in African-American
Cardiovascular Disease (Heart and Circulatory System)
- Cigarette smokers are 2–4 times more likely to develop coronary heart
disease than nonsmokers.
- Cigarette smoking approximately doubles a person’s risk for
- Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels
(arteries). Smokers are more than 10 times as likely as nonsmokers to develop
peripheral vascular disease.
Respiratory Disease and Other Effects
- Cigarette smoking is associated with a ten-fold increase in the risk of
dying from chronic obstructive lung disease. About 90% of all deaths from
chronic obstructive lung diseases are attributable to cigarette smoking.
- Cigarette smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects,
including an increased risk for infertility, preterm delivery, stillbirth, low
birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never
smoked. Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than never