Health Effects of Smoking It Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Cigarette smoking is the major cause of cancers of the lung, mouth, larynx, esophagus, and pharynx. In addition, cigarette smoking is a contributing cause of cancers of the stomach, colon, rectum, bladder, pancreas, uterine cervix, and kidney. Finally, cigarette smoking is a contributing factor in some leukemias. Currently, cigarette smoking is responsible for approximately 180,000 cancer deaths every year. However, quitting smoking immediately can reduce the risk of cancer. Ten years after quitting smoking, an ex-smoker's risk of lung cancer is about half that of a current smokers. Furthermore, quitting smoking reduces the risk of developing cancers of the mouth, esophagus, throat, bladder, cervix, and pancreas within a ten-year period.

Finally, cigarette smoking increases the risk of heart disease. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America, and smoking cigarettes is the number one risk factor for heart disease. Smoking is the main cause of sudden heart death; smokers who experience heart attacks are more likely to die within an hour of the heart attack than nonsmokers who experience heart attacks. In addition, even casual smokers greatly increase their chances of developing heart disease because smoking has almost immediate effects on the heart. However, within 20 minutes of smoking their last cigarette, an ex-smoker's heart rate drops to normal. Within a year of quitting, an ex-smokers risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker. After 15 years of not smoking, a former smoker's risk of coronary heart disease is equal to that of someone who never smoked.

Cigarette smoking is a contributing factor in the first, second, and fourth leading causes of death in America: heart disease, cancer, and COPD. In fact, approximately half of all smokers who continue to smoke will die of a smoking-related disease. In addition to causing death, smoking is responsible for diminishing the quality of life for most smokers. However, there is good news; the body begins to heal itself from the negative effects of smoking almost immediately and a person who quits smoking today can reduce their risks of heart disease and…

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