Abstracts of supporting research
Impact on Health Is Not Limited to Lung Cancer
Most smokers are aware of specific risks associated
with smoking — cancer, emphysema, bronchitis— smoking
impacts nearly all aspects of your health.
Smoking and the Heart
The effects of cigarette smoking on the cardiovascular
system are multifold:
- Smoking lowers HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol),
even in adolescents.
- Smoking deteriorates the elastic properties
of the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the
body, which increases the risk for developing
- Smoking increases the activity of the sympathetic
nervous system, putting additional stress
on the system that regulates the heart and blood
- In women, smoking increases risk for cardiovascular
disease because it effects hormones that
cause estrogen deficiency.
- Those who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day
have almost two and a half times the risk for
having a stroke as nonsmokers.
Smoking and Cancer
Smoking is the cause of nearly
85 percent of all cases of lung cancer in the
United States, but smoking accounts for other types
of cancers as well. Because cigarettes contain
so many chemicals, cancer may develop from the
accumulative effects of more than one of these
- Tar from cigarettes causes specific
DNA damage to the lungs, making it
particularly difficult for cells to
- Smoking and smokeless tobacco (chew) account
for over 60 percent of cancers of the throat,
mouth and esophagus.
- Smokers have higher rates of leukemia, and
cancers of the stomach, bladder, kidney and
- About 30 percent of cervical cancers have
been attributed to smoking.
Effects of Smoking on Bones and Joints
Smoking has many negative effects on bones
and joints since it impairs formation of
new bone. Women who smoke are at an exceptionally
high risk for developing osteoporosis, and
women smokers have a slightly increased chance
of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Smokers
are also more disposed to developing degenerative
disorders and injuries in the spine.
Other Smoking-Related Disorders
- Smoking increases acid secretion, reduces
prostaglandin and bicarbonate production
and decreases mucosal blood flow — can
cause peptic ulcers. Smoking also delays
the healing of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
- Cyanedim, a chemical found in cigarette smoke,
interferes with thyroid hormone production,
which can lead to thyroid disease.
- Heavy smokers are at risk for developing
cataracts of the eye, and smokers also
have twice the risk of nonsmokers for developing
macular degeneration, an age-related
- Smokers look older than nonsmokers since
smokers develop more and deeper wrinkles
as they age.
- Women who smoke are at greater risk for infertility.
Those at greatest risk are women show
smoke a pack or more per day, or those who started
smoking before age 18.