Smoking tobacco increases the risk for many serious health problems, including cancer, heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quitting smoking at any age decreases the risk of disease and early death.
Approximately 443,000 American people die from smoking-related diseases every year, as of 2015. Additionally, smoking significantly shortens the life of a smoker. Men who smoke die an average of 13.2 years earlier, while women who smoke die 14.5 years earlier than those who do not smoke, explains the American Lung Association.
Smoking tobacco causes or contributes to many diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease, stroke and abdominal aortic aneurysm. Additionally, tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, approximately 70 of which are known to cause cancer, according to the American Lung Association. While smoking is a significant cause of lung cancer, it also causes bladder, throat, kidney, stomach and pancreatic cancer. Smoking tobacco also factors into a variety of other conditions and disorders, such as infertility, peptic ulcer disease and slowed healing of wounds.
Quitting smoking provides many health benefits. Individuals who quit smoking have a lowered risk for lung and other types of cancer. Quitting smoking also reduces the risk for heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.