Tobacco smoke contains a lot of chemicals that are dangerous to both smokers and nonsmokers, and breathing even a little bit of it is harmful. There are more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, and at least 70 of them can cause cancer.
About 40% of all cancers in the US are related to tobacco use. Just some of the organs and parts that can be affected include the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum.
Smoking is especially tough on lungs: In the US, smoking is linked to about 80% to 90% of lung cancers, and people who smoke are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who don’t. In addition, lung cancer is often very hard to treat.
Quitting smoking lowers your risk of developing and dying from cancer. It’s never too late to benefit from quitting.
Medical review: Nathan Cobb, MD, November 06, 2017
Centers for Disease Control. Cancers linked to tobacco use make up 40% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States. Accessed 11/07/2017. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p1110-vital-signs-cancer-tobacco.html
Centers for Disease Control. What are the Risks for Lung Cancer? Accessed 11/07/2017. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/basic_info/risk_factors.htm