Thousands of studies have linked the connection between smoking effects and poor health. After all, there are approximately 4000 chemicals in cigarettes, hundreds of which are toxic. Cancer is perhaps the most well-known of smoking effects. In fact, it is responsible for about 1/3 of all cancers and is directly linked to these types:
- voice box (larynx)
- mouth (oral cavity)
- throat (pharynx)
- the swallowing tube connected to the stomach (esophagus)
According to the American Cancer Association, smoking effects can also include other health problems, including asthma, heart disease, fertility problems, gum disease, cataracts, bone thinning, hip fractures, and peptic ulcers. It is also linked to macular degeneration, an eye disease that can cause blindness.
What if you quit?
Quitting smoking has major and immediate health benefits for smokers of all ages. After 1 year off cigarettes, the excess risk of heart disease caused by smoking is reduced by about half. After 10 years, the risk of lung cancer for former smokers drops to is less than one-half that of a continuing smoker. In five to 15 years, the risk of stroke for former smokers returns to the level of those who never smoked.
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