Smoking and Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control , smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths, 32 percent of coronary heart disease deaths, and 79 percent of all cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the United States. One out of three cancer deaths is caused by smoking.

Smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.

  • Smoking rates among adults and teens are less than half what they were in 1964; however, 42 million American adults and about 3 million middle and high school students continue to smoke.
  • Nearly half a million Americans die prematurely from smoking each year.
  • More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking.
  • On average, compared to people who have never smoked, smokers suffer more health problems and disability due to their smoking and ultimately lose more than a decade of life.

Smoking is linked to the following health issues:

  • High blood pressuresmoking cessation
  • High cholesterol
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Sudden cardiac death (SCD)
  • Heart failure
  • Peripheral arterial disease (plaque buildup in the arteries that lead to the legs and arms)
  • Increased tendency for blood clotting
  • Decreased exercise tolerance
  • Periodontal or gum disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

The benefits of quitting smoking include:

  • A longer life. Smokers who quit between ages 35-39 will add an average of 6 to 9 years to their lives. Those who quit at ages 65-69 will extend their life expectancy by 1 to 4 years.
  • A reduced risk of heart and vascular disease
  • A reduced risk of high blood pressure
  • A reduced risk of high cholesterol
  • A reduced risk of peripheral arterial disease and stroke
  • A reduced risk of other diseases such as lung cancer, throat cancer, diabetes and lung related illnesses
  • Improved health – look and feel better

Resources to help you quit smoking*

American Cancer Society at
American Lung Association at
American Heart Association at
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at

*Listing of these web sites does not imply an endorsement of the material, content or program offerings in these sites.