Health risks related to tobacco usage

In May of last year the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release, The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General, stating that the surgeon general’s list of smoking related diseases has expanded.

According to the report, smoking is now directly linked to diseases such as lukemia, cataracts, pneumonia as well as cervical, kidney, pancreas and stomach cancers.

“We’ve known for decades that smoking is bad for your health, but this report shows that it’s even worse than we knew,” U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Richard Carmona said in the release.

“The toxins from cigarette smoke go everywhere the blood flows. I’m hoping this new information will help motivate people to quit smoking and convince young people not to start in the first place.”

According to the surgeon general, the complete list of diseases caused by smoking includes:

Abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute myeloid leukemia, cataract, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, pneumonia, periodontitis and stomach cancer.

This is in addition to diseases previously known to be caused by smoking, including bladder, esophageal, laryngeal, lung, oral and throat cancers, chronic lung diseases, coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases, as well as reproductive effects and sudden infant death syndrome.

Consequently, as a result of smoking over 440,000 Americans die annually of related illnesses, the report said. Since 1964 it is estimated that over 12 million Americans have died from smoking tobacco products. The report also estimates that the ecomoic cost of smoking is $157 billion each year.

According to the American Cancer Society’s fact sheet, 28.5 percent of college students are current smokers, with cigarettes being the tobacco product of choice.


Cigarette Chemicals

Carbon Monoxide (exhaust)UrethaneAcetone (paint thinner)Nitric AcidNicotineBenzene (gas additive)Formaldahyde (embalming fluid)Ammonia (toilet cleaner)Arsenic (rat poison)

The Cost of Smoking vs. the Cost of Quitting

Product Cost per Product Products used daily Cost per day Per week Per Month Per Year
cigarettes $0.20 20 per pack $4.04 $28.80 $113.12 $1,357.44


Products Cost per ProductProducts used dailyCost per dayPer weekPer MonthTime to Quit Cost to Quit
gum $0.60 10-12 pieces$6.60 $46.20 $184.801 month $184.80
patch$3.501 patch$3.50 $24.50 $98.00 10 weeks $245.00
lozenge $0.55 9 pieces $4.95 $34.65 $138.60 12 weeks $415.80

Information compiled by Kate Carter, Sports editor. Sources:,,

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