Medical information  
 
 Terms Glossary
 First Aid
 Diet Information
 Preventive Medicine
 Immunization Schedules
 Biological Warfare Effects & Treatment
 Men's health
 Infertility
 Atlas of skin diseases
 Drug encyclopedia
 Atlas of human anatomy
 Alternative medicine
 Baby's developmental milestones
 Medical laboratory tests
 Smoking and health effect
 Advice for travelers
 Hearth attack: risk chart
 Diabetes: risk chart
 Cancer: risk chart
 Alcoholism and treatment
 Topic of the Week
 Medical Topic
 Latest News
 News Archive
 
  » Smoking and health effect  »  Tobacco and Health
  1. Cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Each year, more than 400,000 Americans die from cigarette smoking. In fact, one in every five deaths in the United States is smoking related. Every year, smoking kills more than 276,000 men and 142,000 women.
  2. The arteries of active smokers harden, on average, 50% faster than those of non-smokers.
  3. Ex-smokers arteries hardened 25% faster, on average, than non-smokers.
  4. Arteries of non-smokers exposed to about 20 hours a week of environmental tobacco smoke at work or at home hardened 20% faster than non-smokers. That's one-third as bad as smoking.
  5. The use of filtered, low-tar cigarettes closely parallels the increase of a type of cancer that occurs deep in the lung called adenocarcinoma. This may be the result of filtered cigarettes forcing smokers to inhale more deeply to get a jolt of nicotine.
  6. Cigarette smoking is associated with evidence of mild airway obstruction and slowed growth of lung function in adolescents. Adolescent girls may be more vulnerable than boys to the effects of smoking on the growth of lung function.
  7. About 2800 deaths of children under 18 per year are due to low birthwieght caused by mothers who smoked while pregnant.
  8. About 200 deaths of children under 18 per year are attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) caused by secondhand tobacco smoke.
  9. 1100 deaths of children under 18 per year are due to respiratory infection caused by secondhand smoke.
  10. About 14 children under 18 each year die of asthma resulting from second hand smoke.
  11. About 250 children each year die of burns from fires caused by cigarettes, matches or lighters.
  12. Second hand smoke is estimated to cause 30,000 to 50,000 deaths from heart disease of U.S. nonsmokers each year.
  13. Second hand smoke is estimated to cause 3,000 deaths per year of U.S. nonsmokers from lung cancer.
  14. A one-time, 1% reduction in prevalence of smoking produces substantial short-run savings. In the first year, an estimated 924 heart attacks and 538 strokes are avoided, saving approximately $44 million.
  15. A 7 year program that reduced smoking prevalence by 1% per year would rest in an estimated total of 63,840 fewer hospitalizations for heart attack and 34,366 fewer hospitalizations for strokes. This would result in savings of approximately $3.20 billion in short term medical costs. Approximately 13,100 deaths from AMI (acute myocardial infarction) that occur before people reach the hospital as well.
  16. The childhood loss of life from parental smoking costs $8.2 billion a year (based partly on what a child would be expected to earn in a lifetime).
  17. Ear infections and asthma, caused by parental smoking, cost an estimated $4.6 billion annually to treat.
  18. A Kaiser Permanente study showed over a ten year period cigar smokers died at a 25% higher rate from all causes compared with people who never smoked.
  19. Snuff-dippers may be exposed to more N-nitrosamines (shown in a number of laboratory studies to be powerful cancer causing chemicals) than a one-pack-a-day cigarette smoker
  20. More young children are killed by parental smoking than by all unintentional injuries combined.
  21. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) as a "Group A" carcinogen-the most dangerous category of cancer causing agents.
  22. Secondhand smoking causes up to 3,000 new childhood asthma cases in California each year and as many as 188,000 doctor's visits for middle ear infections.
  23. Among infants and toddlers under 18 months, secondhand tobacco smoke is blamed for up to 36,000 cases of bronchitis or pneumonia in California. Between 16 and 25 of these children die each year.
  24. Smoke from parents' cigarettes is also responsible for an estimated 120 cases per year of sudden infant death syndrome-instances where babies suddenly stop breathing during sleep.
  25. Smoking is responsible for 87% of the lung cancer deaths in the United States. Overall, lung cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanics.
  26. The sensation of feeling good is caused by the release of dopamine, a chemical messenger that links pleasure regulating structures in the center of the brain to the higher areas behind the forehead that control conscious thought. In 1995, researchers added nicotine to the list of dopamine- stimulating substances.
  27. Lab studies have shown that drug-taking (including nicotine) physically changes the brain over time by decreasing the nerve endings that receive dopamine, called receptors. More and more of the drug is then required to get the same sensation produced by the original amount of the drug.
  28. Blue collar workers spend from 10 to 14 percent of their medical expenses each year on tobacco related illnesses and deaths.
  29. Readings of pulmonary diffusing capacity, a measure of lung capacity, is a reliable predictor of mortality. As reading levels decline, mortality rates increase. One important factor that causes marked decline in pulmonary diffusing capacity is cigarette smoking.
  30. According to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS), smokers are at least two times more likely to be completely impotent than nonsmokers.
  31. In a study of 4,462 Vietnam veterans, smoking was found to be an independent risk factor for impotence. After adjusting for other known risk factors, current smokers had 50% more reported impotence than nonsmokers.
  32. Cigarette babies, babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy, not only run a risk of being born prematurely and underweight, but face a higher rate of crib death and subtle brain damage resulting in learning disabilities, hyperactivity and behavioral problems.
  33. One in four American women smoke during pregnancy.
  34. Taken in sum, cigarette babies are a more serious society-wide problem than crack babies, born to mothers who use cocaine, or fetal alcohol syndrome, a group of birth defects caused by excessive alcohol use during pregnancy.
  35. Contrary to popular belief, most women who smoke don't quit during pregnancy. Studies based on what women say conclude that 50% stop. Urine or blood tests, however, show that only small numbers really do stop.
  36. Animal studies have demonstrated conclusively that nicotine causes fetal death and brain cell damage.
  37. Researchers now suspect that many harmful effects apparent in crack babies are actually due to nicotine, as many women who use cocaine during pregnancy also smoke cigarettes.
  38. Animal studies demonstrate that nicotine kills brain cells outright and interferes with the "wiring of the brain", the process in which growing brain cells establish interconnections critical for normal brain function.
  39. Nicotine damages nerve cells outside the brain in ways that cause premature loss of a mechanism that helps infants survive during periods of reduced oxygen supply, notably during birth and during sleep. During these periods normal infants respond with increased breathing rate and faster heart rate. Cigarette babies don't and are therefore predisposed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death.
  40. Studies show that nicotine, unlike many other chemicals that harm the fetus, does most of its damage after the first three months of pregnancy. This leaves a window of opportunity in the first three months of pregnancy to quit smoking.
  41. In women, a gene known as NATZ enables the body to make an enzyme that breaks down certain toxic chemicals, including a class of carcinogens known as aromatic amines, which are found in cigarette smoke. 55% of all White people, 10-20% of people of Asian descent, 35% of African-Americans and 65-90% of those of Middle East origin carry a defective version of the NATZ gene that cannot break down aromatic amines efficiently. These people, referred to as "slow acetylators," are at increased risk for bladder cancer, and slow acetylators have a four-fold increase in risk of developing breast cancer after menopause.
  42. One-half of all current smokers alive in the world today will die as a result of their smoking, one in four before the age of 60 (losing an average of 20-25 years of life) and another one in four after the age of 70.
  43. More people die in one year from tobacco than from the combination of AIDS, alcohol, automobile accidents, fires, homicides, illegal drugs and suicides.
  44. Cigarettes and second hand smoke contain benzo[a]pyrene. Benzo[a]pyrene enters the lungs, is transformed in the body to a new compound, benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide, that bind to a gene, p53, and disables it. This p53 gene protects us from lung cancer.
  45. Sidestream Smoke: "Sidestream" smoke, which curls off the end of a smoldering cigarette, is the main component of secondhand smoke and is different in composition from the "mainstream" smoke that smokers inhale. Sidestream smoke contains higher concentrations of several known or probable human carcinogens. Among them:
Component How much more of the component is in "sidestream" vs. "mainstream" smoke
Polonium-210 1 to 4 times
Benzo[a]pyrene 2.5 to 3.5 times
Hydrazine 3 times
1,3-butadiene 3 to 6 times
Benzene 5 to 10 times
N-nitrosopyrrolidine 6 to 30 times
Cadmium 7.2 times
Nickel 13 to 30 times
N-nitrosodimenthylamine 20 to 100 times
Aniline 30 times
2-Naphthylamine 30 times
4-Aminobipheryl 31 times
N-nitrocliethylamine Up to 40 times

  1. Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke hastens hardening of the arteries, a condition known as artherosclerosis.
  2. Damage to the arteries is considered permanent even among former smokers, who were previously believed to be able to recover from smoking damage.
  3. Passive smoking has also been linked to narrowing of the carotid arteries, which carry blood to the brain.
  4. Regular cigar smoking causes cancer of the lung, oral cavity, larynx, esophagus and probably cancer of the pancreas
  5. .
  6. Heavy cigar smokers and those who inhale deeply are at increased risk for coronary heart disease and can develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Some data suggests cigar smokers have an increased risk for aortic aneurysm.
  7. Cigar smoke contains the same toxic and carcinogenic compounds identified in cigarette smoke.

Sources:
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1993). Smoking-attributable Mortality and Years of Potential Life Lost-United States, 1990. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, 42(33), 645-648.
  2. Taken from: January 14, 1998 Journal of the American Medical Association Schulte, Brigid. (1998, January 14). Study: Smoking speeds hardening of arteries. The San Jose Mercury News , p. 5A.
  3. Taken from: January 14, 1998 Journal of the American Medical Association Schulte, Brigid. (1998, January 14). Study: Smoking speeds hardening of arteries. The San Jose Mercury News , p. 5A.
  4. Taken from: January 14, 1998 Journal of the American Medical Association Schulte, Brigid. (1998, January 14). Study: Smoking speeds hardening of arteries. The San Jose Mercury News , p. 5A.
  5. Type of cancer tied to filter cigarettes. (1997, November 5). The San Jose Mercury News , p. 7A.
  6. Gold, D.R., Xiaobin, W., Wypig, D., Speizer, F.E., Ware, J.H., & Dockey, D.W. (1996, September 26). Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Lung Function in Adolescent Boys and Girls. The New England Journal of Medicine. 931-937.
  7. Parents' smoking kills kids, study says. (1997, July 15). The Monterey County Herald , p. A3.
  8. Parents' smoking kills kids, study says. (1997, July 15). The Monterey County Herald , p. A3.
  9. Parents' smoking kills kids, study says. (1997, July 15). The Monterey County Herald , p. A3.
  10. Parents' smoking kills kids, study says. (1997, July 15). The Monterey County Herald , p. A3.
  11. Parents' smoking kills kids, study says. (1997, July 15). The Monterey County Herald , p. A3.
  12. Study: Smoke-free workplaces reduce health risks. (1996, August 8). USA Today [Online]. Available: http://www.usatoday.com/hfe/smoking/research/.
  13. Study: Smoke-free workplaces reduce health risks. (1996, August 8). USA Today [Online]. Available: http://www.usatoday.com/hfe/smoking/research/.
  14. Lightwood, J.M., & Glantz, S.A. (1997). Short-term Economic and Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation Circulation. Circulation, 96, 1089-1096.
  15. Lightwood, J.M., & Glantz, S.A. (1997). Short-term Economic and Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation Circulation. Circulation, 96, 1089-1096.
  16. Parents smoking kills kids, study says. (1997, July 15). The Monterey County Herald , p. A3.
  17. Parents smoking kills kids, study says. (1997, July 15). The Monterey County Herald , p. A3.
  18. Puzzanghera, J. (1998, March 20). Cigars Pose Definite Risks. San Jose Mercury News, pp. 1A, 15A.
  19. Associated Press. (1996, August 8). Best selling snuff highest in nicotine, carcinogens. USA Today. [Online]. Available: http://www.usatoday.com/life/health/smoking/tobacco/1hsto001.htm.
  20. ( July, 1997) Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
  21. EPA Risk Assessment on Environmental Tobacco Smoke (1993).
  22. San Francisco Chronicle, taken from: Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke, California EPA, September 1997.
  23. San Francisco Chronicle, taken from: Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke, California EPA, September 1997.
  24. San Francisco Chronicle, taken from: Health Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke, California EPA, September 1997.
  25. American Cancer Society. (1998). Cancer Facts and Figures - 1998. Atlanta: American Cancer Society.
  26. Niiler, E. (1998, May 27). Hooked on a feeling. Brain researchers unravel biochemistry of addiction. The San Diego Union-Tribune, p. E1.
  27. Niiler, E. (1998, May 27). Hooked on a feeling. Brain researchers unravel biochemistry of addiction. The San Diego Union-Tribune, p. E1.
  28. Associated Press. (June 6, 1998). Utah Unions Sue Tobacco Companies. The Washington Post. [Online]. Available: http://search.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WAPO/19980606/v000804-060698-idx.php.
  29. Lung function tests predict mortality. (1998). American Journal of Epidemiology, 147 , 1011-1017.
  30. Feldman, H.A., Goldstein, I., Hatzichrisyou, D.G., Krane, R.J., & McKinlay, J.B. (1994). Impotence and Its Medical and Psychosocial Correlates: Results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. The Journal of Urology, 151, 54-61.
  31. Mannino, D.M., Klemens, R.M., & Flanders, W.D. (1994). Cigarette Smoking: An Independent Risk factor for Impotence? American Journal of Epidemiology, 140, 1003-1008.
  32. Woods, M. (1998, June 3). Cigarette Risk to Babies Higher - 10 Year Study Urges Sterner Warnings to Pregnant Women. The Post-Gazette , p.A3.
  33. Woods, M. (1998, June 3). Cigarette Risk to Babies Higher - 10 Year Study Urges Sterner Warnings to Pregnant Women. The Post-Gazette , p.A3.
  34. Woods, M. (1998, June 3). Cigarette Risk to Babies Higher - 10 Year Study Urges Sterner Warnings to Pregnant Women. The Post-Gazette , p.A3.
  35. Woods, M. (1998, June 3). Cigarette Risk to Babies Higher - 10 Year Study Urges Sterner Warnings to Pregnant Women. The Post-Gazette , p.A3.
  36. Woods, M. (1998, June 3). Cigarette Risk to Babies Higher - 10 Year Study Urges Sterner Warnings to Pregnant Women. The Post-Gazette , p.A3.
  37. Woods, M. (1998, June 3). Cigarette Risk to Babies Higher - 10 Year Study Urges Sterner Warnings to Pregnant Women. The Post-Gazette , p.A3.
  38. Woods, M. (1998, June 3). Cigarette Risk to Babies Higher - 10 Year Study Urges Sterner Warnings to Pregnant Women. The Post-Gazette , p.A3.
  39. Woods, M. (1998, June 3). Cigarette Risk to Babies Higher - 10 Year Study Urges Sterner Warnings to Pregnant Women. The Post-Gazette , p.A3.
  40. Woods, M. (1998, June 3). Cigarette Risk to Babies Higher - 10 Year Study Urges Sterner Warnings to Pregnant Women. The Post-Gazette , p.A3.
  41. Study links smoking, breast cancer. (1996, November 13). San Jose Mercury News, p.A1.
  42. Harvey, W. (1996). Pharmacy Morality II: Tobacco Deaths - Does Pharmacy Care? Lighting Up the Evidence. Journal of Pharmacy Technology , 12, 257-258. 291-292.
  43. Harvey, W. (1996). Pharmacy Morality II: Tobacco Deaths - Does Pharmacy Care? Lighting Up the Evidence. Journal of Pharmacy Technology , 12, 257-258. 291-292.
  44. Harvey, W. (1996). Pharmacy Morality II: Tobacco Deaths - Does Pharmacy Care? Lighting Up the Evidence. Journal of Pharmacy Technology , 12, 257-258. 291-292.
  45. Source: U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 1995.
  46. Smoking and Arteries. (1998, January 14). The Washington Post , p. A2.
  47. Smoking and Arteries. (1998, January 14). The Washington Post , p. A2.
  48. Smoking and Arteries. (1998, January 14). The Washington Post , p. A2.
  49. Cigars: Health Effects and Trends. (1998). Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph #9. United States Department of Health and Human Services.
  50. Cigars: Health Effects and Trends. (1998). Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph #9. United States Department of Health and Human Services.
  51. Cigars: Health Effects and Trends. (1998). Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph #9. United States Department of Health and Human Services.