Quitting Smoking

The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly 1 of every 5 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 and Death in the United States
Smoking causes approximately:

  • 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men
  • 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women
  • 90% of deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease

Smoking and Increased Health Risks
Compared with nonsmokers smoking increases the risk of—

  • Coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times
  • Men developing lung cancer by 23 times
  • Women developing lung cancer by 13 times
  • Dying from chronic obstructive lung diseases by 12 to 13 times

Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease (Heart and Circulatory System)

  • Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States
  • Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries) and puts smokers at risk for developing peripheral vascular disease (i.e., obstruction of the large arteries in the arms and legs that can cause a range of problems from pain to tissue loss or gangrene)
  • Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm (i.e., a swelling or weakening of the main artery of the body—the aorta—where it runs through the abdomen)

Smoking and Respiratory Disease
Smoking causes the following lung diseases by damaging the airways and alveoli (i.e., small air sacs) of the lungs:

  • Emphysema
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic airway obstruction

Smoking and Cancer
Smoking causes the following cancers:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Cancer of the cervix
  • Cancer of the esophagus
  • Kidney cancer
  • Cancer of the larynx (voice box)
  • Lung cancer
  • Cancer of the oral cavity (mouth)
  • Cancer of the pancreas
  • Cancer of the pharynx (throat)
  • Stomach cancer
  • Cancer of the uterus

Smoking and Other Health Effects
Cigarette smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including increased risk for:

  • Infertility
  • Preterm delivery
  • Stillbirth
  • Low birth weight
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)