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What are some serious dangers of smoking?

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Quick Answer

Smoking harms almost every organ in the body and leads to diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease and strokes, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of 2015, more than 480,000 people in the United States die each year due to conditions caused by smoking.

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Full Answer

Smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, motor vehicle accidents, firearms, illegal drug use and alcohol abuse combined, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 80 percent of deaths due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are caused by smoking, as well as about 90 percent of all cancer deaths. Doctors estimate that smoking increases the chances of coronary heart disease and stroke by two to four times. People who smoke may suffer from vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Smoking by pregnant women increases the chances that babies may be premature, die before birth, have a low birth weight and suffer from orofacial clefts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking can trigger attacks in people who have asthma and make attacks more severe. In addition to lung cancer, smoking causes cancer of the larynx, esophagus, pancreas, trachea and many other areas of the body. Smoking causes rheumatoid arthritis and Type 2 diabetes and can make it harder for people to control their diabetes.

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