Within the United States, smoking is the most common cause of disability, disease, and even death, which is preventable. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that annually there are over 480,000 premature deaths within the country, around every one out of five deaths in the United States. In addition to this, there are 16 million people who suffer from a serious illness due to smoking. Smoking facts and statistics actually say that thirty people have a minimum of one tobacco-related illness of a serious nature for every smoking-related death.
1. What Are the Poisons in Tobacco Smoke?
- Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, has been linked to circulatory problems, including stroke and heart disease.
- Tar gets deposited in the lungs every time a person breathes in cigarette smoke. This tar damages the lungs and causes cancer.
- Benzene, a solvent, has been linked to leukemia and is known to cause cancer.
- Formaldehyde, a poison for preserving dead bodies, can lead to gastrointestinal, respiratory, and skin problems as well as cancer.
- Ammonia, a common cleaning fluid, is also present in cigarettes.
- Cadmium, a poisonous metal found in batteries, causes damage to the brain, kidneys, and liver.
2. What Are the Risks of Smoking?
Smokers have an increased risk of early death and illness compared to those who don’t smoke. Even passive smoking, inhaling smoke from another person’s cigarettes, may affect your health.
Smoking will increase your risk of serious and/or fatal diseases, including:
- Chronic emphysema and bronchitis
- Coronary heart disease
- Lung cancer
- Additional cancers (stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, esophagus, larynx, throat, and mouth)
Smoking is also the largest cause of illness and death within the United Kingdom.
3. How Will It Affect Others?
Adults who are exposed to passive smoking over long periods of time have an increased risk of developing heart disease and lung cancer. The smoke from tobacco is also an irritant, worsening conditions such as asthma.
The smoking facts concerning passive or secondhand smoke for children or babies are truly alarming. Children and babies living with a smoker:
- Have an increased risk of chest, nose, and ear infections as well as asthma. In fact, annually 17,000or less children under five years old living in Wales and England go to the hospital due to passive smoking from their parents.
- Have an increased chance of cot death (also known as sudden infant death syndrome).
- Have an increased likelihood of becoming smokers.
- Perform worse on average at reasoning skills and reading as opposed to children from homes without cigarette smoke, including when the smoke exposure is low.
- Have an increased risk of cancer of COPD as adults.
4. How About Smoking and Pregnancy?
People who smoke during pregnancy (or are exposed to secondhand smoke) should be aware of these smoking facts. Smoking during pregnancy increases the chances of:
- Pregnancy complications, such as ectopic pregnancy, premature birth, placenta detachment, and bleeding during pregnancy
- Low birthweight. Babies of smoking mothers tend to weigh 8 ounces (200 grams) less than non-smoking mothers at birth. Babies who are premature or have low birthweight are also increasingly likely to develop infections or illness.
- Congenital baby defects, including cleft palate
- Death within one week of birth or stillbirth (an increase of around a third)
- Poorer health, development, and growth for the child
5. What Are the Benefits of Quitting Smoking?
Information of no smoking or quitting can help boost morale. When you stop smoking, you will lower your risk of developing cancer, COPD, heart disease, or other smoking-related conditions.
No matter your age, when you quit smoking you are decreasing your risk of dying due to a smoking-related illness.
- Quitting when 30: If you quit at age 30, you will reduce your risk of premature death from smoking-related diseases by over 90 percent.
- Quitting when 50: If you quit around age 50, you will lower the risk of premature death by around 50 percent.
- Quitting when 60: Even if you quit when you are sixty or older, you will still live longer than your counterparts who continue to smoke.
6. Will 'Light' Cigarettes Reduce the Risks?
It is a common myth to believe that switching to “light” cigarettes reduces your risk of disease and death. In reality, however, most people who use “light” cigarettes will either smoke a larger portion of every cigarette or inhale the smoke more deeply, compensating for the lower nicotine and tar quantities. Therefore, most smokers of “light” cigarettes will still be exposed to the same quantities of the components of cigarettes which kill. These people still die from emphysema, heart attack, stroke, and lung cancer.
Keep in mind that smoking “organic” or “natural” cigarettes won’t be safer either, as tobacco will kill you no matter what is in it.
7. Is The Stress That Comes Along with Quitting Harmful?
It is true that tobacco withdrawal is stressful, but it does not have any long-term negative effects. The opposite is actually true and smoking facts show that when people quit smoking, they tend to start exercising, eating better, and generally feeling good about themselves. Instead of hating the amount of money they spend (a pack a day is $2,000 annually) and the fact that they are addicted, they feel happy with life.
8. Is It Too Late To Quit?
Many people think it’s too late to quit smoking, but in reality the damage is cumulative. This means that anytime you quit, you will see health benefits, even if you are 70. After a month, you feel a noticeable difference in the amount of air you can breathe in and by a year later, you have halved your risk of a heart attack.