Health Effects of Smoking

Cigarette smoking is harmful to almost every organ in the human body. It is estimated that 1 of every 5 deaths each year in the US is attributable to smoking.

What are the negative or harmful effects of cigarette smoking? Medical studies have found an increased risk of the following diseases and conditions in cigarette smokers:



1. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease/Emphysema

2. Lung cancer (may increase risk 15-20 fold)

3. Other cancers, including the bladder, pancreas, colon, esophagus, pharynx, larynx (voice box), cervix, kidney, mouth, and blood (acute myeloid leukemia)

4. Heart disease (4-fold increased risk), including myocardial infarction (heart attack)

5. Hypertension (high blood pressure)

6. Peripheral vascular disease (10-fold increased risk) and delayed wound healing

7. Stroke (2-fold increased risk)

8. Thyroid disease

9. Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (leading to blindness)

10. Erectile Dysfunction and decreased male fertility

11. Lower estrogen levels and decreased female fertility

12. Early menopause

13. Pregnancy complications, including cleft lip deformity, stillbirth, and low birth-weight babies

14. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in children of mothers who smoke

15. Facial wrinkles

16. Lower bone density and hip fractures (in post-menopausal women who smoke)

17. Blood clotting


Surgeon General’s Report

National Cancer Institute