This is a statistic you don’t want to be part of: Cigarette smoking is responsible for an estimated 443,000 deaths each year – nearly one of every five deaths in the United States – more than all the deaths from HIV, illegal drug and alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined.
In the bloodstream, nicotine makes the smoker feel calm. In small doses, it acts as a stimulant to the brain. But, every puff of a cigarette is a lie: Nicotine is exactly the ingredient that turns smokers into tobacco addicts.
Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing compounds and 400 other toxins, including tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT.
About 8.6 million people in the U.S. have at least one serious illness caused by smoking. Among current smokers, chronic lung disease (including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis and emphysema) accounts for 73 percent of smoking-related conditions. And, if you think that’s serious, here’s a longer list: coronary heart disease, stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute myeloid leukemia, cataracts, pneumonia, periodontitis, and cancers of the bladder, esophagus, larynx, lungs, mouth, throat, cervix, kidney, stomach, and pancreas.