Smoking and Cancer
- Cancer is the second leading cause of death. Every year in the United States, premature deaths from smoking rob more than five million years from the potential lifespan of those who have died.
- More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by ALL DEATHS from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.
Cancer was among the first diseases linked to smoking.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, and cigarette smoking causes most cases.
- Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer deaths in women and almost 80% of lung cancer deaths in men.
- Smoking causes not only lung cancer. It also causes cancer of the bladder, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx (voice box), esophagus, cervix, kidney, lung, pancreas, and stomach, and causes leukemia.
- Former smokers have lower rates of stomach cancer than those who continue to smoke.
- Rates of cancers related to cigarette smoking vary widely among members of acial/ethnic groups, but are generally highest in African-American men.
- The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 23 times higher among men who smoke cigarettes, and about 13 times higher among women who smoke cigarettes compared with never smokers.
For more information on the health consequences of smoking and about how to quit visit Colorado Quit Line.
- Cancer-causing chemicals (called carcinogens) in tobacco smoke damage important genes that control the growth of cells, causing them to grow abnormally or to reproduce too rapidly.