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What are some of the health hazards of smoking?

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Quick Answer

Some of the health hazards associated with smoking include cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, cancer and pregnancy-related complications in women, according to the CDC. In the United States, smoking is the leading preventable cause of death.

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Full Answer

Smoking causes one out of every five deaths, which is more than the combined average of deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol, vehicle accidents and firearms, states the CDC. Smoking raises the risk of heart disease and stroke by up to four times. Smokers are at risk of damaging their blood vessels by making them thicker and narrower, leading to blood pressure. The narrowing of vessels can cause poor blood flow leading to blood clot near the brain, leading to stroke.

Smoking damages airways and air sacs within the lungs, leading to lung disease. It increases the chances of lung cancer by up to 25 percent and 25.7 percent in men and women respectively, explains CDC. Smokers are at risk of getting COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and are12 to 13 times more at risk of dying from COPD than nonsmokers. For asthmatic people, smoking can cause an attack or make an attack worse. Smoking can cause cancer in any part of the body. Pregnant women who smoke risk preterm delivery, stillbirth, birth of babies who are underweight and ectopic pregnancy, among others.

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