Health effects of tobaccoTobacco use leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and cancer (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic cancer). Cigarette smoking increases the risk of Crohn’s disease as well as the severity of the course of the disease. It is also the number one cause of bladder cancer.
The World Health Organization estimate that tobacco caused 5.4 million deaths in 2004 and 100 million deaths over the course of the 20th century. Similarly, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes tobacco use as “the single most important preventable risk to human health in developed countries and an important cause of premature death worldwide.”
Rates of smoking have leveled off or declined in the developed world. Smoking rates in the United States have dropped by half from 1965 to 2006 falling from 42% to 20.8% in adults. In the developing world, tobacco consumption is rising by 3.4% per year.
Passive smoking presents a very real health risk. 603 000 deaths were attributable to second-hand smoke in 2004
head and torso of a male with internal organs shown and labels referring to the effects of tobacco smoking
Common adverse effects of tobacco smoking. The more common effects are in bold face.