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Patterns of Smoking in the United States
More than 55 million Americans have started smoking in the 30+ years since the first Surgeon General's Report. Americans alone, in the last 30 years, have consumed over 17 trillion cigarettes. If laid end-to-end, that is enough cigarettes to circle the Earth more than 36,000 times! However, it is estimated that since the first Surgeon General's Report more than 30 years ago, about two million people have not died. Because of these warnings, they either did not start smoking, or they quit.
Health Consequences of Smoking
Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States. More than 400,000 people die each year from tobacco-related illnesses. That is more deaths than from AIDS, cocaine, alcohol, heroin, car accidents, fires, murder, and suicide combined! Nationally, one in five deaths are smoking related.
Smoking is the cause of 80-90% of lung cancers and 82% of head and neck cancers. Among women, the leading cause of cancer deaths has changed from breast cancer to lung cancer. Some of the most common smoking-related diseases are:
Did you know that there are over 4,000 dangerous chemicals in cigarettes? Here is a selected list of some of the most hazardous ones:
Immediate Physical Effects from Smoking
In addition to the long-term health consequences such as heart disease, emphysema, and lung cancer, there are also immediate physical effects that result ftom smoking:
Second Hand Smoke and the Health of Others
Each year, an estimated 3,000 non-smokers die from lung cancer. Most often, it is the husbands, wives, children, and other family members of a smoker that are killed by second-hand smoke. Children often develop pneumonia or bronchitis and have severe asthma when they are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Older teens are more likely to start smoking if they grew up around ETS.
Continue reading: Smoking Treatments