What are health risks of smoking

It’s no secret that smoking is harmful to your health. The World Health Organizations reports that over 5 million smokers die each year because of their habit. An extra 600,000 die because of exposure to second-hand smoke. In the United States about 1 in 5 deaths is because of smoking-related diseases. Tobacco is the leading cause of death and illness in the world. Additionally, smokers have a negative impact on those around them and society.


There are numerous diseases related to smoking. The most well-known being cancer. Tobacco smoke is linked to about 90% of all lung cancers deaths. You are 25 more likely to develop lung cancer if you are a regular smoker. Women actually die more often from lung cancer than they do from breast cancer.

Furthermore it could also cause cancer in different parts of the body such as the mouth, lips, throat, larynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney, liver, stomach and pancreas. Quite a long list!

If cancer is not what you are afraid of, contemplate the multiple other implications smoking can have on your health. Smoking harms your heart and blood circulation which leads to higher risks of getting coronary heart disease, heart attacks, higher likelihood of getting a stroke, damaged blood vessels and arteries (making them thicken and grow narrower). Narrower/thickened blood vessels makes your heart beat faster and your blood pressure go up.

If that wasn’t enough smoking can also give you chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia. Of all the deaths caused by COPD, smoking was linked to 80% of them.

Smoking has also been linked to reducing fertility by affecting sperm, harming the health of your teeth and gums, reducing bone health, an increased risk of cataract, inflammation and decreased immune function.

The list goes on, but you have an idea now to what extent smoking is harmful. All these illnesses furthermore makes way for further health risks.

Health risks for second-hand smokers

Even if you are not a smoker, inhaling second-hand smoke can be as damaging depending on your exposure to smoke. Fortunately, smoking inside of public spaces in many countries is now banned. But that still leaves private spaces and other places where smoking inside is still allowed. Bartenders, casino employees, small kids and babies are just a few examples of people who are all still passively inhaling smoke in many places.

Second-hand risks also counts for unborn babies. Mothers who smoke while pregnant have an increased risk of having a miscarriage, having a premature birth, experiencing still birth or having a baby with a low birthweight.

Further reasons to not start or to stop smoking

Apart from ruining your health consider the effect smoking might have on the people around you. Even if they are not inhaling second-hand smoke they all carry the burden of knowing what smoking might do to their loved ones down the road. Have you ever thought about how you want your last 10 years alive to look like? Do you want them to be filled with joy and activity or would you like to be bedridden with illnesses? Moreover, being a smoker might put you in a place where you can’t work. Also think about the immense amount of money being funneled into the treatment of smoking related illness could be put to better use.

Smoking is seriously looked down upon, you might not hear it from non-smokers, but to us smoking cigarettes is naïve and foolish.