Why does smoking matter?

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and chronic lung disease. Cigarettes contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic. Quitting smoking is beneficial to health at any age. Smoking data comes from the 500 City Study. Results are among respondents 18 years of age or older who reported having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke every day or some days.

Non-smokers may still be exposed toxic chemicals via exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke emitted by the burning end of a cigarette as well as smoke exhaled by a smoker. Exposure to secondhand smoke, meaning people who breathe in the air near someone who is smoking, even though they don’t smoke is associated with increased risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, lung disease and increased mortality.

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