12 Diseases Caused by Smoking | Infographic
Each year, the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to quit smoking on the third Thursday of November. Known as the Great American Smokeout, the event helps smokers understand that quitting, even for just one day, is the first step in becoming healthier. With tobacco use remaining the largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, the health benefits of quitting begins immediately.
The diseases caused by smoking harm almost every organ in the body. It is the cause of 1 in 5 deaths in the US alone, yet around 42 million American continue to smoke. Find out more about the different diseases that are caused by smoking and learn the steps necessary to quit smoking today.
1. Lung Cancer
Smoking dramatically increases your chances of developing lung cancer. According to the American Lung Association, men who smoke are 23 times more likely to get lung cancer and women who smoke are 13 times more likely. Nonsmokers are also at risk of developing lung cancer. A nonsmoker exposed to secondhand smoke has a 20-30% higher risk of developing lung cancer, and secondhand smoke causes 7,330 deaths a year.
Smoking is the cause of 9 in 10
3. Heart Disease
People who smoke are four times as likely to develop heart disease than those who do not. Nicotine in cigarettes reduces the amount of oxygen your heart gets and also raises your heart rate putting more stress on your heart. One in 5 deaths from heart disease
Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. According to the National Stroke Association, smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the blood and makes the heart work harder. This makes blood clots form more easily and then the clots can block blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.
5. Aortic Aneurysm
The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body. Aneurysms are more common in men than in women according to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. It has been shown that the risk for an aortic aneurysm increases even more in men who smoke.
6. Oropharyngeal Cancer
This type of cancer starts in the mouth or throat. The risk of developing it is directly related to how much someone smoked or chewed. The American Cancer Society says that this cancer can affect the voice box, lips,
7. Esophageal Cancer
This ophthalmological condition occurs when the lens of the eye becomes opaque over time and vision is lost. According to the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, it is the leading cause of blindness and the risk of developing it is increased by smoking.
9. Type 2 Diabetes
Around 90% of
10. Rheumatoid Arthritis
It has been shown that smoking increases your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation cites a study that centered on the connection between the two. Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation in the joints, pain, deformities and immobility.
11. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
SIDS is the sudden, unexplainable death of a child during sleep. It occurs between the ages of one month and one year. Studies have shown that mothers who smoke during pregnancy put their babies at a higher risk for SIDS. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine explain that mothers who smoked prior to pregnancy have the same increased risks as mothers who smoke during pregnancy. The risk is even higher if the father also smokes.
12. Erectile Dysfunction
Many studies have found that smoking is a major factor in erectile dysfunction. Smoking causes plaque build up in the arteries and obstructs blood flow. In one study, men who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day had a 60% higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction.
Tips for a Smoke-Free Life
Overcoming an addiction to tobacco isn’t easy. Research by the American Cancer Association found that smokers are most successful at kicking the habit when they have support. This support can include:
Online quit groups
Nicotine replacement products
Prescription medicine to lessen cravings
Encouragement and support from friends and family members
Talk to your doctor today about finding a smoking cessation plan for you. Use our find a doctor tool to make an appointment today and start leading a healthier life. For more smoking facts, visit the Great American Smokeout.