Health Consequences of Smoking

Still need convincing that smoking is a serious health risk to your employees? Read on…

Cigarette smoking facts:

Every year, more than 430,000 Americans die prematurely of smoking-related diseases. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. It is responsible for one of every 5 deaths!

More people die as a result of cigarette smoking every year than die from AIDS, alcohol, traffic accidents, fire, illicit drugs, murder, and suicide… COMBINED.

Seventeen percent of people who try crack cocaine will become addicted. Ninety percent of people who try smoking will become addicted.

More than 4,000 chemicals have been identified in cigarette smoke, 43 of which are known to cause cancer.

Smoking causes a wide variety of diseases:

Cancer – smoking is associated with many types of cancer, most notably, lung cancer. There are nearly 5,000 new cases of lung cancer each year in North Carolina – about 87% of those are because of smoking. Below are listed all of the cancers that are known to be more common in smokers than in nonsmokers:

  • lung cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • laryngeal cancer
  • renal cancer
  • lip cancer
  • tongue cancer
  • mouth cancer
  • throat cancer
  • cancer of the pharynx
  • gastric cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • esophageal cancer
  • bladder cancer
  • colon cancer
  • bone marrow cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Tobacco use is the number-one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
  • More smokers die of heart disease than of lung cancer.
  • Smokers have twice the risk of heart attack as nonsmokers.
  • Nearly one-fifth of all deaths from heart disease are caused by smoking.
  • Lung disease
  • Smoking causes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
  • Nearly all victims of emphysema are current or former smokers.
  • Smokers increase their risk of dying of bronchitis and emphysema by more than 10 times.

Other health consequences of smoking:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Respiratory problems
  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • Fertility problems (for men AND women)
  • Impotence in men
  • Early onset of menopause
  • Low birth weight babies
  • Increased heart rate
  • Weakened sense of smell
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision problems
  • Increased headaches
  • Increased phlegm production
  • Bad breath
  • Yellow teeth
  • Reduced lung capacity
  • Chronic coughing
  • Wrinkles
  • Premature gray hair and even hair loss

As you can see, smoking increases the risks of MANY potentially very serious health problems. But quitting smoking has major and immediate benefits for smokers of all ages:

  • One year after quitting, an individual’s excess risk of heart disease is cut in half.
  • After 10 years, the former smoker’s risk of lung disease is cut in half.
  • In five to 15 years, the risk of stroke for former smokers returns to the level of those who have never smoked!

Adopting a smoke-free workplace encourages employees to quit smoking, thereby greatly reducing their chances of suffering from a smoking-related illness in the future. Even the tobacco industry recognizes in their internal documents that smoke-free workplaces lead to reduced levels of smoking among employees. Philip Morris compiled tracking data from over 25,000 workers, and determined that smokers in smoke-free workplaces "consume 11-15% less cigarettes than average, and quit at a rate that is 84% higher than average".8 They also found that "milder workplace restrictions like smoking only in designated areas have much less impact on quitting rates and very little impact on consumption". By adopting a smoke-free workplace you’re protecting the health of your employees, reducing your organization’s health care costs, and protecting the future of your business!

If you would like assistance in this area, please contact Clinical Hypnotherapist, Jackie Maclean in the Langley & Vancouver areas of British Columbia, Canada or visit