Facts About Smoking

  • Every year, close to 342,000 Americans die of lung disease. Lung disease is America’s number three killer, responsible for one in seven deaths.
  • Lung disease is not only a killer, most lung disease is chronic. More than 35 million Americans are now living with chronic lung disease.
  • Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90 percent of COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) deaths.
  • About 8.6 million people in the U.S. have at least one serious illness caused by smoking. That means that for every person who dies of a smoking-related disease, there are 20 more people who suffer from at least one serious illness associated with smoking.
  • Among current smokers, chronic lung disease accounts for 73 percent of smoking-related conditions. Even among smokers who have quit chronic lung disease accounts for 50 percent of smoking-related conditions.
  • Smoking is also a major factor in coronary heart disease and stroke; may be causally related to malignancies in other parts of the body; and has been linked to a variety of other conditions and disorders, including slowed healing of wounds, infertility, and peptic ulcer disease. For the first time, the Surgeon General includes pneumonia in the list of diseases caused by smoking
  • In 2005, 23 percent of high school students were current smokers. Over 8 percent of middle school students were current smokers in 2004.
  • Secondhand smoke involuntarily inhaled by nonsmokers from other people’s cigarettes is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a known human (Group A) carcinogen, responsible for approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 (ranging 22,700-69,600) heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers annually in United States.

* data courtesy of the American Lung association

Cigar Smoking

  • Cigars contain the same addictive, toxic and carcinogenic compounds found in cigarettes. In fact, cigar smokers may spend up to an hour smoking a single large cigar that can contain as much tobacco as a pack of cigarettes.
  • While almost all cigarette smokers inhale, most cigar smokers do not. Therefore, the risk of lung cancer is lower for cigar smokers than cigarette smokers. However, the risk increases with the more frequent cigar smoking and depth of inhalation. Studies show that men who smoke at least five cigars a day and report moderate inhalation, experience lung cancer deaths at about two-thirds the rate of men who smoke one pack of cigarettes a day.
  • Cigar smokers experience higher rates of lung cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive lung disease than nonsmokers. Studies show that men who smoke at least three cigars a day are two to three times more likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers.

Secondhand Smoke and children

  • Children who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to suffer from pneumonia, bronchitis, and other lung diseases.
  • Children who breathe secondhand smoke have more ear infections.
  • Children who breathe secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma.
  • Children who have asthma and who breathe secondhand smoke have more asthma attacks.
  • There are an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 cases every year of infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia in infants and children under 18 months of age who breathe secondhand smoke. These result in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations!

Smokeless Tobacco, chew and dip

  • Smokeless tobacco may cause cancer of the mouth.
  • Sugars that are in chewing tobacco can cause decay in exposed tooth roots.
  • Chewing tobacco can cause your gums to recede. The gums do not grow back.
  • Leathery white patches and red sores are common in dippers and chewers and can turn into cancer.
    Recent research shows that spit tobacco use might also cause problems beyond the mouth. Some studies have shown that using spit tobacco may cause pancreatic cancer. And scientists are also looking at the possibility that spit tobacco use might play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease—heart disease and stroke.
  • Dip and chew contain more nicotine than cigarettes.
  • Chewing tobacco contains 28 cancer causing agents.
  • Chewing tobacco IS NOT a good substitute for cigarette smoking.