Smoking And Cancer

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Cancer was one of the first diseases to be linked with smoking. Earlier it was only lung cancer which was associated with smoking but now there are many types of cancer which are caused by smoking. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Americans. Each year, more than half a million people die due to cancer, that is, one out of every four deaths is caused by smoking.

The many types of cancer which came to be known in the recent years are stomach cancer, cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer and alike, apart from usual bladder, laryngeal, oral, throat and lung cancers.

The most prominent and earliest known is, lung cancer. Lung cancer is the prime cause of death among both male and female smokers. Tobacco smoke causes 87 % of the lung cancer deaths, according to a study.

Smoking is responsible for cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and esophagus. The effects of tobacco smoke on smokers and nonsmokers as a carcinogenic substance are beyond doubt.

Exposure to secondhand smoke or passive smoke or environmental tobacco smoke significantly increases a nonsmoker's proximity to develop cancer, especially lung cancer. It is the cause of significant number of lung cancer deaths every year. Secondhand smoke is also responsible for respiratory infections among a large number of children.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified second hand smoke as a Group-A carcinogen, a category reserved for the most dangerous cancer causing agents. So, what is it that is present in the tobacco smoke that causes cancer? It is known that tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals, 60 of them are known to cause cancer in humans. It also contains harmful substances like carbon monoxide, arsenic, tar and lead which are poisonous and toxic to the human body.

Smokers who quit, live longer than a person who continues to smoke cigarettes. Quitting smoking reduces a person's risk of dying from smoking-related diseases and other diseases. In addition, quitting smoking can reduce a person's risk of developing heart disease and stroke.