Over 100 Frightening Facts about Smoking

Learn about your enemy and you will overcome it



Start to stop smoking today – promise yourself you will quit.
It only takes a split second for the idea of being a non-smoker to take hold in your mind, then grasp it and hold it tight – nuture the idea and it will be yours!

  1. Cigarette smokers aged 35 are twice as likely, when compared with non-smokers, to die before they reach the age of 65.

  2. About four million people die worldwide each year as a result of smoking

  3. After a year only about 4% of smokers who quit without any outside help succeed

  4. Smoke also contains nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide, which are harmful gases.

  5. 172,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year in the U.S. Over 160, 000 die

  6. A 20-a-day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.

  7. One in four male smokers aged 35 can expect to die before the age of 65

  8. 3,000 people die in the U.S. each year from lung cancer due to secondhand smoke

  9. Smoking decreases a person’s life expectancy by 10 – 12 years

  10. In the USA more than the number of people who would die every year if three jumbo jets crashed each day with no survivors die from the effects of smoking

  11. Around 114,000 people in the UK are killed by smoking every year

  12. 20% of all UK deaths are smoking related

  13. The primary obstacle in trying to quit alone is making the behavioural changes necessary to eliminate the habits associated with smoking

  14. An estimated four million children a year fall ill from exposure to second-hand smoke

  15. 3,000 young people become regular smokers every day

  16. Forty-three known carcinogens are in mainstream smoke, sidestream smoke, or both

  17. Smokers in their thirties and forties have a heart attack rate that is five times higher nonsmokers

  18. The resting heart rates of young adult smokers are two to three beats per minute faster than nonsmokers

  19. Smoking reduces the mother’s folate levels, a B vitamin that is important for preventing birth defects

  20. Maternal smoking has been linked to abnormal lung function in children; the defects persist throughout life

  21. The toxins contained in secondhand smoke may be different, and even more potent, than the toxins inhaled by smokers

  22. About 70% of smokers in the United States would like to quit; in any given year, however, only about 3.6% of the country’s 47 million smokers quit successfully

  23. Teens who smoke are three times as likely as nonsmokers to use alcohol, eight times as likely to use marijuana, and 22 times as likely to use cocaine

  24. Deaths caused by smoking were five times higher than the 22,833 deaths arising from: traffic accidents (3,439); poisoning and overdose (881); alcoholic liver disease (5,121); other accidental deaths (8,579); murder and manslaughter (513); suicide (4,066); and HIV infection (234) in the UK during 2002.

  25. Smoking men are 27 times more likely to get lung cancer than men who don’t smoke.

  26. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has classified second hand smoke as a Group A carcinogen

  27. Smoking causes disease and is a slow way to die

  28. 89% of lung cancer deaths in England are caused by smoking

  29. Smoking lowers HDL levels (the so-called good cholesterol) even in adolescents

  30. Tobacco smoke increases cardiovascular disease in women through an effect on hormones that causes oestrogen deficiency

  31. Smoking has been classified as the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States

  32. Men who smoke 18 or more cigarettes a day for at least two years have about one quarter of the fertilization power of non-smokers.

  33. Side effects of nicotine replacement product may include headaches, nausea, and other gastrointestinal problems

  34. Smoking accounts for an estimated 14% of premature births  and 10% of infant deaths

  35. Smokers and former smokers are twice more likely to develop incontinence than women who never smoked.

  36. Some smokers end up having their limbs amputated.

  37. Cancer of the tongue accounts for 1 in 4 new cases of oral cancer in the UK and almost one third of deaths from oral cancer

  38. Parental smoking has been shown to affect the lungs of infants as early as the first two to 10 weeks of life

  39. 33% of cases of pancreatic cancer can be attributed to cigarette smoking and is fourth leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S.

  40. An estimated four million children a year fall ill from exposure to second-hand smoke

  41. Smoking is recognized as one of several factors that might be related to a higher risk of hip fractures in older adults

  42. Some chemical compounds found in smoke only become carcinogenic after they’ve come into contact with certain enzymes found in many of the tissues of the human body

  43. 33% of all people who die from oral cancer are under 65 years old

  44. Smoking has been associated with depression and psychological distress

  45. One of the toxic byproducts present in cigarette smoke is hydrogen cyanide which under the name of Zyklon B, was used as a genocidal agent during World War II

  46. Smoking can affect blood vessels in the brain as it does in the heart, increasing the risk for dementia from small or major strokes.

  47. Infant mortality rates in pregnant smokers are increased by 33%

  48. Tobacco smoke contains at least 43 carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances

  49. 83 per cent of deaths from emphysema and bronchitis in England are smoking related

  50. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing bladder cancer by a factor of nearly five

  51. 50% of young deaths, below age 65, from heart disease are caused by smoking

  52. Smokers also have higher rates of leukemia and cancers of the kidney, stomach, bladder, and pancreas

  53. One in two lifetime smokers will die from their habit. 50% of these deaths will occur in middle age

  54. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide and ammonia are all present in cigarette smoke

  55. Postmenopausal women who smoke have 17% greater risk for hip fracture at age 60, a 41% greater risk at 70, and a 108% greater risk at age 90

  56. 17% of deaths in the UK that are caused by heart disease happened because the victim was a smoker.

  57. Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to have a sudden cardiac arrest

  58. After smoking just one cigarette, the compulsion to smoke another can last for at least three years

  59. Smokers are nearly five times more likely to develop more and deeper wrinkles as they age compared to nonsmokers.

  60. Children who breathe in second hand smoke are more likely to suffer from dental cavities

  61. Smoking doubles the risk of ischemic stroke (reduced blood flow to the brain).

  62. Stopping smoking not only reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, but also reduces the risk of repeat heart attacks and death by heart disease by 50 percent

  63. Smoking in pregnant women and new mothers is strongly linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

  64. Smokers are twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease

  65. Cigarette smoking may be directly responsible for at least 20% of all deaths from heart disease

  66. Passive smoking has been linked to the narrowing of the carotid arteries, which carry blood to the brain

  67. About 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are regular smokers by the age of 15

  68. Children are three times more likely to smoke if their parents smoke

  69. Smoking impairs formation of new bone and women who smoke are at high risk for osteoporosis

  70. 30% of cervical cancers have been attributed to both active and passive smoking

  71. Nicotine is a poison and taken in large doses could kill a person by paralyzing breathing muscles.

  72. Teenage smokers suffer from shortness of breath almost three times as often as teens who don’t smoke, and produce phlegm more than twice as often as teens who don’t smoke.

  73. The likelihood of having a male child is lowest when both parents smoke.

  74. People who smoke a pack a day have almost two and a half times the risk of stroke as non-smokers

  75. Over 38 million people in the United States have successfully quit smoking

  76. Maternal smoking is believed to be related to 37% of the cases of childhood meningococcal disease, an uncommon but potentially fatal infection

  77. Statistics show a direct relation between smoking during pregnancy and spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, death among newborns.

  78. 33% of SIDS deaths among babies of women who smoked during pregnancy can be attributed to smoking

  79. Children of mothers who smoke have higher than normal risks of developing asthma

  80. 90 percent of new smokers are children and teenagers

  81. Smoking impairs formation of new bone, and women who smoke are at high risk for loss of bone density and osteoporosis

  82. Parental smoking has been linked to recurrent ear infections and eczema

  83. Exposure to second hand smoke hastens hardening of the arteries, a condition known as artherosclerosis 

  84. Women who smoke may pass genetic mutations that increase cancer risks to their unborn babies

  85. Young people vastly underestimate the addictiveness of nicotine. Of daily smokers who think that they will not smoke in five years, nearly 75 percent are still smoking five to six years later

  86. Smoking triples the risk for developing thyroid disease

  87. A nonsmoker who is married to a smoker has a 30% greater risk of developing lung cancer than a nonsmoker living with a nonsmoker

  88. In one study only 42% of male lifelong smokers reached the age of 73 compared to 78% of nonsmokers

  89. Smoking changes the properties of blood vessels and blood cells – allowing cholesterol and other fatty substances to build up

  90. Parental smoking has also been linked to ear infections and eczema

  91. Smoking a cigarette raises the blood pressure by 5-10 mm Hg for about 30 minutes

  92. 1987 the death rate from lung cancer in women surpassed that of breast cancer, the most common cancer in women

  93. Emphysema is an illness that slowly rots your lungs

  94. Smoking is responsible for 151,322 cancer deaths annually in the United States

  95. Smoking also reduces sperm density and their motility, increasing the risk for infertility

  96. Women who smoke tend to start menopause at an earlier age than nonsmokers

  97. There are 599 additives approved by the US Government for use in the manufacture of cigarettes

  98. Smoking appeared in 74 percent of the 500 most popular movies from 1998 to 2002

  99. Tar in cigarette smoke paralyzes the cilia in the lungs

  100. Smokers  inhale other chemicals including cyanide, benzene, formaldehyde, methanol (wood alcohol), acetylene (the fuel used in torches), and ammonia

  101. 4000 chemical compounds are created by burning a cigarette, many of which are toxic and/or carcinogenic.

  102. Smoking is cited as a risk for dying of pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema

  103. Studies show that smokers are more likely to have thyroid enlargement

  104. The boast, “I can quit anytime,” simply isn’t true. Nicotine is addictive.

  105. Smoking increases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates the heart and blood vessels

  106. Children of smoking mothers are more likely to have more motor control problems

  107. Smoking is chronic a disease that needs treatment before it kills you

  108. A report published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that smoking increased the risk of developing non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) by more than three times

  109. Studies have pointed to smoking as a risk in vision loss among older people, mental impairment later in life, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

  110. According to the American Lung Association, smoking during pregnancy accounts for an estimated 20 to 30 percent of low birth weight babies, up to 14 percent of premature deliveries, and about 10 percent of all infant deaths.

  111. 400,000 Americans die each year because they smoke cigarettes, making it the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States

  112. Number of deaths per hour attributed to tobacco in the US: 45

  113. Number of deaths per hour due to cardiovascular disease in the US: 21

  114. Number of deaths per hour due to Obstructive lung disease in the US:  8

  115. Number of identified carcinogens in tobacco smoke: 43

  116. Number of times “addiction” is listed on cigarette warnings (in United States): 0

  117. Annual Revenues of the U.S. tobacco companies: excess $32 billion

  118. Percentage of adult smokers who had tried cigarettes by 18th birthday: 80

  119. Percentage of smokers age 12 to 17, according to a Gallup poll, who want to quit: 66.

  120. If you smoke for a lifetime, there is a 50% chance that your eventual death will be smoking-related

  121. 30% of cervical cancers have been attributed to both active and passive smoking

  122. Men who smoke also have lower sex drives and less frequent sex.
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