Cancer seems a high price to pay for an innocuous-looking habit. You get into smoking and you are robbed of the last 25 years of your life. Some cocky souls will say, ‘Ah yes, but they are the worst 25 years.’ Nobody feels like that in a cancer ward. There are no cocky souls in a cancer ward. But there’s a lot of pain, not just of the excruciating physical kind that they shoot you full of morphine to smother. There are a lot of tears. All round. It is hard to say goodbye to the people you love. And it’s scary. Cancer wards have a way of knocking the cockiness out of you. And for what? Another cigarette?” ~Tony Parsons
What are the effects of smoking cigarettes? An estimated 443,000 deaths each year are caused by cigarette smoking.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, more people die of lung cancer each year than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Smoking is directly responsible for 80% of lung cancer deaths in women in the U.S. each year.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. There are many ways that smoking causes illness and premature death.
Cigarette smoking causes premature aging as well as premature death. Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottchene/7059447319/
5 Effects of Cigarette Smoking That Most People Don’t Know About — But Should
1. Smoking causes many types of cancer, including cancers of the pancreas, kidney, bladder, stomach, cervix, throat, mouth, nasal cavity and esophagus as well as acute myeloid leukemia. Women who smoke also have an increased risk for developing cancers of the uterine cervix.
2. Smoking causes heart disease and abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Women who smoke double their risk for developing coronary heart disease.
3. Smokers are up to six times more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers. Heart attack risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked.
4. Smoking causes most cases of chronic lung diseases, including emphysema and bronchitis. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. Cigarette smoking is directly responsible for more than 90 percent of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deaths each year. Women smokers are nearly 13 times more likely to die from COPD compared to women who have never smoked.
5. Studies have shown that cigarette smoking is one of the most important risk factors for kidney or renal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, kidney cancer is the fifth most common cancer overall. The prevalence of kidney cancer has been increasing steadily each year in the United States and Europe for the last 30 years. Cigarette smoking is one of the few risk factors that can be modified to prevent kidney cancer.
Although it’s not deadly, accelerated aging is one of the devastating effects of smoking. Cigarette smoking causes skin wrinkling that could make smokers appear prematurely old. Pictures of identical twins show premature aging of faces of smokers compared to non-smokers. Smoking is one of the biggest preventable causes of looking prematurely old.
By quitting smoking, millions of people can prevent premature death from heart disease and heart attacks, chronic lung diseases, lung cancer, kidney cancer and many other types of cancer.