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Tobacco smoking is harmful to health.



Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemical compounds. Many of these agents are toxic, and more than 69 - including polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and tobacco-specific nitrosamines - cause cancer. See also the Safety section for more information.

Cigarette smoking is a known cause of at least 25 diseases, including lung and other cancers (bladder, cervical, esophageal, kidney, laryngeal, oral, pancreatic and stomach, and acute myeloid leukemia), heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory illnesses, and adverse reproductive effects (including sudden infant death syndrome). Smoking kills one-third to one-half of all lifetime users, and smokers die an average of 15 years earlier than nonsmokers. In 2010, tobacco will kill 6 million people, 72 percent of whom reside in low- and middle-income countries.



U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.

Shafey O, Eriksen M, Ross H, Mackay J. The Tobacco Atlas. American Cancer Society.

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