Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It’s also the leading cause of preventable disease. It also causes millions of chronic illnesses and more than $100 billion in annual healthcare costs. Cigarettes are even more dangerous than alcohol because they contain over 100 chemicals.
Smoking causes more than 2,000 lung diseases and thousands of cancer deaths each year. It can also cause heart disease and stroke.
The American Lung Association says that smoking is responsible for one in five deaths in the United States each year. The World Health Organization estimates that the number of annual deaths from smoking is about 5 million.
Does smoking cause cancer?
Smoking is a known cause of cancer.
According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smokers are 2.5 times more likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers.
Smoking is also a cause of many other cancers. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified smoking as a carcinogen. According to the report, “Smoking is one of the most important risk factors for cancer.”
The American Cancer Society reports that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. It’s the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women worldwide.
What are the symptoms of smoking?
Smoking is linked to many different smoking-related health problems. Symptoms of these problems can develop slowly over time. They can also come on suddenly. Symptoms of smoking-related health problems may include:
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing up large amounts of blood
- Coughing up blood-tinged phlegm
- Wheezing and shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood-tinged mucus
- Chest tightness
- Difficulty swallowing
- Trouble sleeping
- Bleeding in the mouth
- Trouble swallowing
- Unexplained weight loss
The following symptoms may be associated with other health problems:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart attack
- Severe headaches
- Severe dizziness
- A stiff neck
- Severe cough
How does smoking affect the heart?
Smoking causes many health problems, but the most serious is heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, smoking is the leading cause of death from heart disease.
In addition to causing heart disease, smoking has a direct effect on the cardiovascular system. The heart gets damaged when the arteries are overstretched when the smoker takes a puff of the cigarette. It’s the smoking that damages the arteries.
This damage can lead to heart attacks and heart failure. It can also increase the risk of stroke.
Smoking may also increase the risk of atherosclerosis. This is a condition in which plaque builds up on the walls of blood vessels. This plaque makes it harder for blood to flow through the arteries.
Smoking and breast cancer
Smoking is a known risk factor for breast cancer. According to a study published by the American Cancer Society, women who smoke are approximately 2.25 times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who don’t smoke.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the risk increases to 7.5 times for women who smoke 1 pack of cigarettes a day.
What are the other risks of smoking?
Smoking is a risk factor for many other health problems, including:
- Lung cancer
- Heart disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Kidney disease
- Head and neck cancers
- Cancer of the mouth
- Mouth and throat cancers
- Sore throat
- Tonsillitis and strep throat
- Ear infections
- Ear cancer
- Gum disease
- Mouth and throat cancer
Smoking can also lead to other problems, such as:
- Sleep apnea
- Heart rhythm problems
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
Women who smoke are more likely to have asthma and osteoporosis.
How to quit smoking?
If you want to quit, you can do it. Quitting smoking is a process.
The American Lung Association says that the first step is to quit smoking.
Here are some tips for quitting:
- Talk to someone you care about. Ask friends and family members who support you to help you quit.
- Set a quit date. If you have any doubts about your ability to quit, talk to a healthcare professional. This can help you build a plan and get support.
- Take medication. Some doctors recommend nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine gum or patches. These medications can help you quit.
- Work with your doctor. Some doctors recommend counseling, nicotine replacement therapies, and other medications.
- Ask your doctor about other treatments. Ask them what other treatments might be effective for you.
Don’t give up if you don’t see immediate results. Quitting smoking takes time.
How to prevent smoking?
You can’t change who you are, but you can do many things to change the things that make you smoke.
The following are some tips for preventing smoking:
- Get regular exercise. You may be more likely to smoke if you’re not physically active.
- Limit alcohol. Alcohol can make you smoke more.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Control your stress. Stress can make you want to smoke.
- Talk to your doctor. Ask your doctor how to quit smoking. They may recommend a medication or other treatment.
- Avoid secondhand smoke. If you live in an area where it’s common, you can ask your landlord or workplace about safe places to smoke.
- Use a smoke-free home or workplace. If you live in an area where smoking is common, it may be safer to have a smoke-free home or workplace.
Smoking and lung cancer
Smoking can cause lung cancer if you inhale the smoke from burning tobacco.
If you smoke, there’s a chance that you could develop lung cancer. But smoking is not the only cause.
Smoking is the main cause of non-small cell lung cancer. This type of lung cancer is usually found in heavy smokers and those who’ve recently quit. It’s also more likely to be found in people who smoke more than one pack of cigarettes a day. This is known as a pack-year.
If you’re diagnosed with lung cancer, your doctor will want to know how long you’ve been smoking. They will also want to know how often you smoke.
In addition to your use of cigarettes, you may be at risk for other causes of lung cancer.
The following risk factors can increase your risk of developing lung cancer:
- Age. Lung cancer is more common in older adults.
- Genetics. Having a family history of lung cancer increases your risk of developing it.
- Sex. Men are more likely to get lung cancer than women.
- Race. African-Americans are more likely to develop lung cancer than Caucasians.
- Family history. If a close family member has lung cancer, your risk is higher.
- Smoking. Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer.
- Exposure to certain chemicals. Certain chemicals can cause lung cancer.
If you have any of these risk factors, you may want to quit smoking. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit smoking.
Smoking and brain cancer
Smoking is a risk factor for several types of brain cancer.
Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to lower your risk of getting lung cancer. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about other ways to protect yourself.
Images by Freepik