Cigarettes Cause 14 Million Cases of Diseases and One-Third of All Cancer Deaths in U.S.
Quitting cigarettes is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions for people who smoke. This year, a pair of recent studies may give those wanting to quit an added push to drop the habit.
In one study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration used data from two national health surveys from 2006 through 2012, to produce the first estimate since 2000 of diseases from cigarette smoking.
In 2000, the CDC found that 8.6 million Americans had a combined 12.7 million major medical conditions caused by smoking. In this latest study, the CDC and FDA found that 6.9 million adults had 10.9 million smoking-related major diseases; however. when they added estimates of the number of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), they concluded that in 2009, U.S. adults had a combined 14 million cigarette-related cases of major illnesses.
Smoking Doesn’t Just Kill, but Makes People Very Sick
The report’s authors want to underline that for every yearly death from cigarette-smoking, 15 to 20 people are living with major disease caused by smoking. Smoking tobacco doesn’t just kill a person but harms their health, making their life worse, added the study’s senior author.
Smoking can harm almost all organs, often resulting in multiple serious diseases including emphysema, different cancers and diabetes. COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is the most closely associated illness with smoking, and most COPD cases result from smoking. About 7.5 million U.S. adults have smoking-related COPD, which makes getting enough air progressively harder.
In addition to COPD, the study linked smoking to 2.3 million cases of heart attack; 1.3 million cases of cancer; 1.2 million cases of stroke; and 1.8 million cases of diabetes.
Smoking and Diabetes
According to the researchers, health professionals have known for some time that smoking makes diabetes outcomes worse; and if someone is pre-diabetic and they smoke, they have a much higher risk of getting diabetes. Smoking, then, causes diabetes and makes diabetes much worse, which many people don’t realize.
Results of the above study were published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Smoking Causes Nearly One-Third of All Cancer Deaths
Another study, published in December, 2014 in the Annals of Epidemiology, found that cancer deaths caused by cigarette smoking have increased, compared to 30 years ago — despite the fact that the numbers of smokers have decreased.
The study, by researchers from the American Cancer Society, examined 2010 national data; it found that about 3 in 10 deaths from cancer were caused by cigarette smoking. This estimate does not include deaths from secondhand smoke or from other types of tobacco such as cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco.
More than 30 years ago, a study found that 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States were caused by cigarette-smoking; the fact that the latest study found a slightly higher rate of cancer deaths from cigarettes, despite smoking rates having dropped by half in the last few decades, could be due to different factors, according to the researchers, such as an increasing number of cancers now known to be caused by smoking.
Smoking is the most preventable cause of death and illness in the U.S., according to doctors. If you need help quitting, you can talk to your healthcare provider about programs to help you quit; you can also substitute the bad habit with other, healthier habits, such as daily exercise, periodically chewing non-nicotine, sugar-free gum (try chewing a fraction of a stick or square, instead of a whole one), talk therapy and other methods.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Ask Family and Friends Not to Smoke Inside Your Home
If you are not a smoker, and you’re dreading relatives or friends who smoke dropping by during the holidays because you don’t like their smoke, you have many valid reasons to ask them to step outside to smoke, or to otherwise refrain from smoking inside your home.
Whether the smoke is from a cigarette, cigar or pipe, tobacco smoke has thousands of chemical compounds, hundreds of which are known to cause disease. The CDC estimates that secondhand smoke causes about 34,000 annual deaths from cardiovascular disease and 7,300 deaths from lung cancer in the United States.
Whether you’re the smoker or you’re exposed secondhand, smoke makes the blood stickier and damages the lining of blood vessels, putting both people at higher risk for heart attack and stroke.
In children, secondhand smoke has been linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), more severe and frequent asthma attacks and ear infections.
By Jamell Andrews