Facts about Smoking Tobacco
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. It causes many different cancers as well as chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and bronchitis, and heart disease.
- Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 450,000 or more deaths each year, including over 50,000 deaths due to 2nd-hand smoke exposure.
- Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the United States, and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths among men and approximately 80 percent of lung cancer deaths among women are due to smoking, with many lung disease patients also suffering from emphysema.
- Smoking causes many other types of cancer, including cancers of the throat, mouth, nasal cavity, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix, and acute myeloid leukemia.
- People who smoke are up to six times more likely to suffer a heart attack vs non-smokers, and the risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked. Smoking also causes most cases of chronic lung disease.
- In 2009, approximately 20.6 percent of U.S. adults were cigarette smokers.
- Nearly 20 percent of high school students smoke cigarettes.
Smoking / Tobacco
Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of death. Each year, more than 180,000 Americans die from cancer that is related to tobacco use.
Using tobacco products or regularly being around tobacco smoke (environmental or secondhand smoke) increases the risk of cancer.
Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop cancer of the lung, larynx (voice box), mouth, esophagus, bladder, kidney, throat, stomach, pancreas, or cervix. They also are more likely to develop acute myeloid leukemia (cancer that starts in blood cells).
People who use smokeless tobacco, which is known as snuff or chewing tobacco are at increased risk of cancer of the mouth.
Quitting is important for anyone who uses tobacco - even people who have used it for many years. The risk of cancer for people who quit is lower than the risk for people who continue to use tobacco. However, the risk of cancer is generally lowest among those who never used tobacco.
Also, for people who have already had cancer, quitting may reduce the chance of getting another cancer.
There are many resources to help people stop using tobacco:
- Staff at the NCI's Smoking Quit line (1-877-44U-QUIT) and at LiveHelp (click on "Need Help?" at https://cancer.gov) can talk with you about ways to quit smoking and about groups that help smokers who want to quit. Groups may offer counseling in person or by telephone.
- A Federal Government Web site, https://smokefree.gov, has an online guide to quitting smoking and a list of other resources.
- Doctors and dentists can help their patients find local programs or trained professionals who help people stop using tobacco.
- Doctors and dentists can suggest medicine or nicotine replacement therapy, such as a patch, gum, lozenge, nasal spray, or inhaler.