Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking

man sitting outside 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