Since 1968, there have been over 200,000 different university studies regarding cigarette smoking. Many of these studies, as well as the CDC, have concluded that smoking is correlated to high blood pressure, stroke, cataracts, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, arthritis, and many other chronic diseases. In addition to 400 other toxins, tobacco cigarettes contain at least 32 known carcinogens that enter the bloodstream through the lungs. A 2012 press release from the CDC Office of Smoking and Health stated that exposure to these toxins makes smokers 25 times more likely to develop lung cancer, 4 times more likely to develop heart disease, and 4 times more likely to have a stroke. Because the health problems associated with cigarettes are caused by the inhalation of smoke, second-hand inhalation is just as vulnerable for nearly all of the same effects.
Cigarette carcinogens can spread to any part of the body as a result of their direct access to the bloodstream. This enables them to potentially be responsible for nearly every type of cancer. In the 2014 report from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Surgeon General’s office concluded that smoking directly increases the risk of lung cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer, and rectal cancer. The report also concluded that evidence was suggestive of smoking being linked to breast and prostate cancer. In all cases, smokers with cancer were found to be much more likely to die of the disease than non-smokers with cancer.
The same report from the Surgeon General goes on to discuss the role of cigarettes in respiratory, cardiovascular, and reproductive diseases. COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is an obstructive lung disease that affects 24 million people in the US. The 2004 Surgeon General’s report stated that smoking was accountable for 90% of COPD deaths, and the 2014 report found cigarettes to be the dominant cause of this disease. Additionally, smoking was found to cause tuberculosis, and to increase the intensity of asthma symptoms. Strokes were also found to be directly caused by smoking, as well as ectopic pregnancies in women, and erectile dysfunction in men.
We will be releasing more blogs on some of the key toxins and carcinogens contained in cigarettes on this website in the near future – check back with us often!
Jeff Riddle and Paul Tsui
 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Heart Disease and Stroke.” The Office of Smoking and Health. November 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/health_effects/heart_disease/
 Department of Health and Human Services. “50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General.” 2014. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/50-years-of-progress-by-section.html
 Department of Health and Human Services. “The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General.” 2004.
 Ibid 2.