Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Smoking causes many diseases and reduces the health of smokers in general. (From Centers for Disease Control (link) to fact sheet)
Image from WorkoutUSA.com (link) [The lungs on the left are from a non-smoker, on the right, from a smoker]
Smoking is the cause of nearly 85 percent of all cases of lung cancer in the United States, but smoking accounts for other types of cancers as well. Because cigarettes contain so many chemicals, cancer may develop from the accumulative effects of more than one of these carcinogens.
- Tar from cigarettes causes specific DNA damage to the lungs, making it particularly difficult for cells to repair.
- Smoking and smokeless tobacco (chew) account for over 60 percent of cancers of the throat, mouth and esophagus.
- Smokers have higher rates of leukemia, and cancers of the stomach, bladder, kidney and pancreas.
- About 30 percent of cervical cancers have been attributed to smoking.
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