How cigarette smoking damages the heart and lungs

Tobacco was ranked 3rd in dependence, 14th in physical harm, and 12th in social harm. Among male smokers, the lifetime risk of developing lung cancer is

How cigarette smoking damages the heart and lungs

How smoking causes cancer How smoking causes cancer Smoking is by far the biggest preventable cause of cancer. Thanks to years of research, the links between smoking and cancer are now very clear.

Smoking accounts for more than 1 in 4 UK cancer deaths, and 3 in 20 cancer cases.

How cigarette smoking damages the heart and lungs

The good news is that many of these deaths are preventable, by giving up smoking. Speak to your GP or pharmacist, or visit the NHS Smokefree pages for free advice and support to give you the best possible chance of quitting. Which cancers are caused by smoking? Chemicals in cigarette smoke enter our blood stream and can then affect the entire body.

Smoking causes around 7 in 10 lung cancer cases in the UK. More information about different cancer types. What influences the risk of cancer from smoking?

Smokers have a much higher risk of lung cancer than non-smokers, whatever type of cigarette they smoke. Filters and low-tar cigarettes make little difference — your lung cancer risk is not lower compared to smokers of average cigarettes.

This may be because smokers tend to change the way they smoke in order to satisfy their nicotine craving, for example by taking bigger puffs or smoking more cigarettes.

How cigarette smoking damages the heart and lungs

The more cigarettes you smoke a day, the higher your risk of cancer. Even light or social smoking can harm your health so keep trying to stop entirely.

Scientists have found that the number of years you spend smoking affects your cancer risk even more strongly than the number of cigarettes you smoke a day.

For example, smoking one pack a day for 40 years is even more dangerous than smoking two packs a day for 20 years. The serious damaging effects of smoking cannot be cancelled out by leading an otherwise healthy lifestyle, like keeping fit and eating healthily.

The best way to reduce your risk is to give up smoking completely. How does smoking cause cancer? The main way that smoking causes cancer is by damaging our DNA, including key genes that protect us against cancer.

Many of the chemicals found in cigarettes have been shown to cause DNA damage, including benzene, polonium, benzo a pyrene and nitrosamines.

For example chromium makes poisons like benzo a pyrene stick more strongly to DNA, increasing the chances of serious damage.

And chemicals like arsenic and nickel interfere with pathways for repairing damaged DNA.

Why is smoking bad for you?

This makes it even more likely that damaged cells will eventually turn cancerous. Smokers are also less able to handle toxic chemicals than those with healthy lungs and blood.

Chemicals in cigarette smoke make it harder for smokers to neutralise or remove toxins, and can make their immune systems less effective too. How long does it take for smoking to cause cancer? It usually takes many years, or decades, for the DNA damage from smoking to cause cancer.

Each cigarette can damage DNA in many lung cells, but it is the build up of damage in the same cell that can lead to cancer. However research has shown that for every 15 cigarettes smoked there is a DNA change which could cause a cell to become cancerous.Smoking most commonly leads to diseases affecting the heart and lungs and will most commonly affect areas such as hands or feet with first signs of smoking related health issues showing up as numbness, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and cancer, particularly .

Cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke cause about , premature deaths each year in the United States.

CDC - Fact Sheet - Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking - Smoking & Tobacco Use

Of those premature deaths, about 36% are from cancer, 39% are from heart disease and stroke, and 24% are from lung disease (1). Smoking damages the arteries to the heart and brain, thereby increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. (British Medical Journal , in Health Gazette newsletter, Feb.

) Cigarette smoking harms the body by raising cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Most people are aware that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health. Since it's been linked to lung cancer, and later to heart disease and emphysema. But the list doesn't stop there. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body.

Yet every single day, about 3, kids and teens start smoking. Most middle school students don't smoke — only about 1 in 50 does.

And most high school students don't smoke either — about 9 in do. But why do those who smoke ever. You probably know that cigarette smoking causes breathing problems and lung did you know it also makes you more likely to have a heart attack?. Every cigarette you .

What happens after you quit smoking? A timeline