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Smoking Harms You

Download Smoking Harms You pdf document (23k) handout.

Smoking can cause:

  • Heart attack and stroke
    • Cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers.
    • Smoking doubles your chances of having a stroke.
    • One year after a person stops smoking, the risk of having a heart attack or stroke will drop by more than half.
  • Cancer
    • Smoking increases your risk of developing cancers of the bladder, kidney, larynx (voice box), lung, pancreas, stomach, and uterus.
    • Smoking causes about 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer.
    • The cancer death rate for men who smoke cigarettes is more than double that of nonsmokers.
    • Men who smoke are 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men who have never smoked.
    • Women who smoke are 12 times more likely to develop lung cancer than women who have never smoked.

Smoking and secondhand smoke can cause:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Serious respiratory diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis
  • More colds, sore throats, and respiratory infections
  • Asthma attacks

Unpleasant effects include:

  • Yellow stains on teeth and fingers
  • Bad breath
  • Gum disease
  • Early wrinkling of the skin
  • Decreased sense of smell and taste

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Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Your Heart, Your Life, A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.

Last Updated March 2012

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