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Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of cancer and cancer deaths. It can cause not only lung cancer — but also cancers of the mouth and throat, voice box, esophagus, stomach, kidney, pancreas, liver, bladder, cervix, colon and rectum, and a type of leukemia.

People who use tobacco or are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to get and die from cancer.

  • Tobacco smoke has at least 70 chemicals that cause cancer, also known as carcinogens.

  • Lung and colorectal cancers make up more than half of all cancers linked to tobacco use.

  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes about 7,300 lung cancer deaths among nonsmoking adults each year.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of cancer and cancer deaths.

  • About 3 in 10 cancer deaths are caused by cigarette smoking. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.

  • Quitting tobacco use at any age can reduce the risk of getting or dying from cancer.

  • Getting screened for cancer can lead to fewer people getting or dying from some tobacco-related cancers (cervix, colorectal, and lung).

How Can Smoking-Related Cancers Be Prevented?

Quitting smoking lowers the risks for cancers of the lung, mouth, throat, esophagus, and larynx.

  • Within 5 years of quitting, your chance of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half.

  • Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk of dying from lung cancer drops by half.

If nobody smoked, one of every three cancer deaths in the United States would not happen.

How Is Smoking Related to Heart Disease and Stroke?

Smoking is a major cause of CVD and causes one of every three deaths from CVD. Smoking can:

  • Raise triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood)

  • Lower “good” cholesterol (HDL)

  • Make blood sticky and more likely to clot, which can block blood flow to the heart and brain

  • Damage cells that line the blood vessels

  • Increase the buildup of plaque (fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances) in blood vessels

  • Cause thickening and narrowing of blood vessels

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