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12/9/2016

Health Effects of Smoking | Be Tobacco Free.gov

Effects of Smoking on Your Health


The effects of smoking are serious. It can harm nearly every organ of the
body. It causes nearly one of every ve deaths in the United States each
year.
Is smoking a risk factor for autoimmune diseases?
How does smoking affect my bones?
How does smoking affect my heart and blood vessels?
How does smoking affect my lungs and breathing?
Can smoking affect my vision?
Do cigarettes cause cancer?
Do light cigarettes cause cancer?
Do menthol cigarettes cause cancer?
Can smoking cigars and pipes cause cancer?

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12/9/2016

Health Effects of Smoking | Be Tobacco Free.gov

Infographic text-only version.

Is smoking a risk factor for autoimmune diseases?


The immune system is the bodys way of protecting itself from infection and disease. Smoking compromises the
immune system, making smokers more likely to have respiratory infections.
Smoking also causes several autoimmune diseases, including Crohns disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It may
also play a role in periodic are-ups of signs and symptoms of autoimmune diseases. Smoking doubles your risk
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Health Effects of Smoking | Be Tobacco Free.gov

of developing rheumatoid arthritis.


Smoking has recently been linked to type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes. Smokers are 30% to
40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. Additionally, the more cigarettes an individual
smokes, the higher the risk for diabetes.
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How does smoking affect my bones?


Recent studies show a direct relationship between tobacco use and decreased bone density. Smoking is one of
many factorsincluding weight, alcohol consumption, and activity levelthat increase your risk for
osteoporosis, a condition in which bones weaken and become more likely to fracture.
Signicant bone loss has been found in older women and men who smoke. Quitting smoking appears to reduce
the risk for low bone mass and fractures. However, it may take several years to lower a former smokers risk.
In addition, smoking from an early age puts women at even higher risk for osteoporosis. Smoking lowers the
level of the hormoneestrogenin your body, which can cause you to go through menopause earlier, boosting your
risk for osteoporosis.
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How does smoking affect my heart and blood vessels?


The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells and damage the function of your heart. This damage
increases your risk for:
Atherosclerosis, a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up in your arteries
Aneurysms, which are bulging blood vessels that can burst and cause death
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes:
Coronary heart disease (CHD), narrow or blocked arteries around the heart
Heart attack and damage to your arteries
Heart-related chest pain
High blood pressure
Coronary Heart disease, where plateletscomponents in the bloodstick together along with proteins for
form clots which can then get stuck in the plaque in the walls of arteries and cause heart attacks
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to
the head, organs, and limbs
Stroke, which is sudden death of brain cells caused by blood clots or bleeding
Breathing tobacco smoke can even change your blood chemistry and damage your blood vessels. As you inhale
smoke, cells that line your bodys blood vessels react to its chemicals. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up
and your blood vessels thicken and narrow.
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How does smoking affect my lungs and breathing?


Every cigarette you smoke damages your breathing and scars your lungs. Smoking causes:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a disease that gets worse over time and causes wheezing,
shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms
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Health Effects of Smoking | Be Tobacco Free.gov

Emphysema, a condition in which the walls between the air sacs in your lungs lose their ability to stretch
and shrink back. Your lung tissue is destroyed, making it difcult or impossible to breathe.
Chronic bronchitis, which causes swelling of the lining of your bronchial tubes. When this happens, less
air ows to and from your lungs.
Pneumonia
Asthma
Tuberculosis
People with asthma can suffer severe attacks when around cigarette smoke.
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Can smoking affect my vision?


Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased
risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to
blindness.
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Do cigarettes cause cancer?


Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. About 70 of them are known to causecancer. Smoking
cigarettes is the number-one risk factor for lung cancer. But, smoking can affect your entire body, and is known
to cause cancer in the:
Lungs
Trachea
Bronchus
Esophagus
Oral Cavity
Lip
Nasopharynx
Nasal Cavity
Larynx
Stomach
Bladder
Pancreas
Kidney
Liver
Uterine Cervix
Colon
Rectum
In addition, smoking is known to cause leukemia.
Learn more about cigarettes.
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Do light cigarettes cause cancer?


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12/9/2016

Health Effects of Smoking | Be Tobacco Free.gov

There is no such thing as a safe cigarette. People who smoke any kind of cigarette are at an increased risk for
smoking-related diseases. Although it is no longer legal to sell light cigarettes, people who smoked light
cigarettes in the past are likely to have inhaled the same amount of toxic chemicals as those who smoked regular
cigarettes. They remain at high risk of developing smoking-related cancers and other diseases.Learn more
about light cigarettes.
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Do menthol cigarettes cause cancer?


All cigarettes are harmful, including menthol cigarettes. Many smokers think menthol cigarettes are less harmful,
but there is no evidence that menthol cigarettes are safer than other cigarettes. Like other cigarettes, menthol
cigarettes harm nearly every organ in the body and cause many diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular
diseases, and respiratory diseases. Menthol cigarettes, like other cigarettes, also negatively impact male and
female fertility and are harmful to pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Some research shows that menthol cigarettes may be more addictive than non-menthol cigarettes. More research
is needed to understand how addiction differs between menthol and non-menthol cigarette use.Learn more
about menthol cigarettes.
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Can smoking cigars and pipes cause cancer?


Cigar and pipe smoke, like cigarette smoke, contains toxic and cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both
smokers and non-smokers. Cigar and pipe smoking causes:
Bladder cancer
Esophageal cancer
Laryngeal (voice box) cancer
Lip cancer
Lung cancer
Mouth cancer
Throat cancer
Tongue cancer
If you smoke cigars daily, you are at increased risk for developing heart disease and lung diseases such as
emphysema.Learn more about cigars and pipes.
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Learn more about:


The health effects of smoking cigarettes in this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
fact sheet
How tobacco use affects your entire body in this Surgeon General Report
Crohn's disease from this Ofce of Rare Disease Research, part of the National Institutes of Health
(NIH), page
Smoking as a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis in this CDC page
Smoking and bone health in this National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin
Diseases, part of NIH, osteoporosis page
Bone health from this Ofce of the Assistant Secretary for Health page
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Health Effects of Smoking | Be Tobacco Free.gov

How smoking affects the heart and blood vessels from this National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
(NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) page
The health effects of tobacco in the Surgeon General's 2010 report(PDF - 2.06MB)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from this NHLBI page
How smoking affects your vision in this National Eye Institute, part of NIH, page
The risk factors for lung cancer from this CDC page
Light cigarettes and cancer risk from this National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the NIH, page
Light cigarettes in this CDC fact sheet
Smoking cigars and cancer from this NCI fact sheet
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