URL of this page: https://jk4u.info/smoking.html

Smoking

Also called: Cigar smoking, Cigarette smoking, Pipe smoking, Tobacco smoking

Summary

What are the health effects of smoking?

There's no way around it; smoking is bad for your health. It harms nearly every organ of the body, some that you would not expect. Cigarette smoking causes nearly one in five deaths in the United States. It can also cause many other cancers and health problems. These include

Women who smoke while pregnant have a greater chance of certain pregnancy problems. Their babies are also at higher risk of dying of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Smoking also causes addiction to nicotine, a stimulant drug that is in tobacco. Nicotine addiction makes it much harder for people to quit smoking.

What are the health risks of secondhand smoke?

Your smoke is also bad for other people - they breathe in your smoke secondhand and can get many of the same problems as smokers do. This includes heart disease and lung cancer. Children exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher risk of ear infections, colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, and more severe asthma. Mothers who breathe secondhand smoke while pregnant are more likely to have preterm labor and babies with low birth weight.

Are other forms of tobacco also dangerous?

Besides cigarettes, there are several other forms of tobacco. Some people smoke tobacco in cigars and water pipes (hookahs). These forms of tobacco also contain harmful chemicals and nicotine. Some cigars contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes.

E-cigarettes often look like cigarettes, but they work differently. They are battery-operated smoking devices. Using an e-cigarette is called vaping. Not much is known about the health risks of using them. We do know they contain nicotine, the same addictive substance in tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes also expose non-smokers to secondhand aerosols (rather than secondhand smoke), which contain harmful chemicals.

Smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco and snuff, is also bad for your health. Smokeless tobacco can cause certain cancers, including oral cancer. It also increases your risk of getting heart disease, gum disease, and oral lesions.

Why should I quit?

Remember, there is no safe level of tobacco use. Smoking even just one cigarette per day over a lifetime can cause smoking-related cancers and premature death. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of health problems. The earlier you quit, the greater the benefit. Some immediate benefits of quitting include

  • Lower heart rate and blood pressure
  • Less carbon monoxide in the blood (carbon monoxide reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen)
  • Better circulation
  • Less coughing and wheezing

NIH National Cancer Institute

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Also in
  • (Department of Health and Human Services) - PDF
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (American Cancer Society)

Related Issues

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)
  • (American Academy of Ophthalmology) Also in
  • (United States Fire Administration)
  • (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (American Lung Association)

Specifics

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • E-Cigarettes: MedlinePlus Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Food and Drug Administration) - PDF
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Department of Health and Human Services)

Health Check Tools

  • (American Cancer Society)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch)

Statistics and Research

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
  • (American Lung Association)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (American Lung Association)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Women

  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (American Lung Association)

Patient Handouts