The list of cancers that you can get from smoking continues to get longer—and the risk for lung cancer today is much greater than it was 50 years ago. Back then, the first word that many smokers heard about cancer came from the first Surgeon General’s Report on smoking and health (Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service), which was released on January 11, 1964.
This year’s 50th anniversary report (The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General) reveals that:
- Smoking causes colon, rectal, and liver cancer. These add to more than a dozen cancers already known to be caused by smoking, including a type of blood cancer (leukemia).
- Smokers are more likely to get lung cancer today than in 1964, even though they don’t smoke as many cigarettes. One possible reason is that filters and vent holes in today’s cigarettes may lead smokers to inhale more deeply. This may pull dangerous chemical farther into your lungs.
- Smoking keeps cancer treatments from working as well as they should for those who continue smoking.
via Real Stories About Smoking’s Harm Hit Home | CDC Features.
The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States.
More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.
Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women.
An estimated 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking.
via CDC – Fact Sheet – Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking – Smoking & Tobacco Use.
Emphysema occurs when the air sacs in your lungs are gradually destroyed, making you progressively more short of breath. Emphysema is one of several diseases known collectively as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking is the leading cause of emphysema.
As it worsens, emphysema turns the spherical air sacs — clustered like bunches of grapes — into large, irregular pockets with gaping holes in their inner walls. This reduces the surface area of the lungs and, in turn, the amount of oxygen that reaches your bloodstream.
Emphysema also slowly destroys the elastic fibers that hold open the small airways leading to the air sacs. This allows these airways to collapse when you breathe out, so the air in your lungs can’t escape. Treatment may slow the progression of emphysema, but it can’t reverse the damage.
via Emphysema – MayoClinic.com.
People who smoke take at least 10 years off their life expectancy, a new study has found.On the other hand, those who kick the habit before age 40 reduce the excess risk of death associated with continued smoking by about 90%, according to the study in Thursdays New England Journal of Medicine.
via Study: Smoking shortens life span by at least 10 years.
Smokers Are Nearly 40% More Likely Than Nonsmokers to Die After Surgery
Smokers who undergo surgery are more likely than nonsmokers to have complications or to die shortly after surgical procedures, according to a study. The risk of death within 30 days of a wide variety of surgeries was nearly 40% higher in smokers than in nonsmokers, says Alparslan Turan, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology at the Cleveland Clinic. There was also an increase in cardiovascular complications,” Turan says. In his study comparing more than 82,000 smokers with nonsmoking patients, the smokers were:
- 57% more likely to have cardiac arrest
- 80% more likely to have a heart attack
- 73% more likely to have a stroke
The risk of pneumonia was double [for smokers],” Turan says.The patients had a range of common surgeries, such as colon procedures, breast surgeries, appendix removal, and hysterectomy. Smokers were also more likely to contract infections and to be put on mechanical ventilation after surgery because of complications.
via Smoking Raises Surgery Risks.
Onassis, Jacquie, 64, First Lady 1961-63; non-hodgkins lymphoma (May 19, 1994)
Reputedly a 3-pack-a-day chain-smoker (variously reported as Salem, Newport, L&M, Pall Mall, Marlboro and Merit), who concealed the habit from the public, and quit when she received the cancer diagnosis.
via A few of our losses . . ..
Reynolds, R.J. Sr., 67, founder of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co., pancreatic cancer (1916)
Reynolds, R.J. Jr., 58, emphysema
Reynolds, R.J. III, 60, emphysema, (1994)
via A few of our losses . . ..
Actor John Candy struggled with his weight and tobacco habit for most of his adult life. At 6 feet, 2 inches and approximately 300 pounds, cigarette smoking put additional stress on his heart.
In an effort to improve his health, Candy quit smoking a few months before his death. But it was not enough to prevent the heart attack that took him in his sleep after midnight on March 4, 1994. He was just 43 years old.
via Famous Tobacco Victims – John Candy.
George Harrison, musician and lead guitarist for The Beatles. Lung cancer. George was initially treated for throat cancer in 1997. In 2001, he had surgery for lung cancer, which then metastasized to his brain. He died on Nov. 29, 2001, at the age of 58.
via Famous Tobacco Victims – George Harrison.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD refers to a group of lung diseases that block airflow as you exhale and make it increasingly difficult for you to breathe. Emphysema and chronic asthmatic bronchitis are the two main conditions that make up COPD. In all cases, damage to your airways eventually interferes with the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your lungs. COPD is a leading cause of death and illness worldwide. Most COPD is caused by long-term smoking and can be prevented by not smoking or quitting soon after you start. This damage to your lungs can’t be reversed, so treatment focuses on controlling symptoms and minimizing further damage.
via COPD – MayoClinic.com.