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Cigarette Smoking and your Health


Risks to your health if you smoke:

Nicotine and other chemicals found in tobacco damage every cell in your body. Even if you are a light smoker, you have an increased risk for cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. If you are pregnant or have diabetes, smoking increases your risk for complications.

Benefits to your health if you stop smoking:

  • You decrease respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • You reduce your risk for cancers of the lung, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix. If you already have cancer, you increase the benefits of chemotherapy. You also reduce your risk for cancer returning or a second cancer from developing.
  • You reduce your risk for heart disease, blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.
  • You reduce your risk for lung infections, and diseases such as pneumonia, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.

  • Your circulation improves. More oxygen can be delivered to your body. If you have diabetes, you lower your risk for complications, such as kidney, artery, and eye diseases. You also lower your risk for nerve damage. Nerve damage can lead to amputations, poor vision, and blindness.
  • You improve your body's ability to heal and to fight infections.

Benefits to the health of others if you stop smoking:

Tobacco is harmful to nonsmokers who breathe in your secondhand smoke. The following are ways the health of others around you may improve when you stop smoking:

  • You lower the risks for lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmoking adults.
  • If you are pregnant, you lower the risk for miscarriage, early delivery, low birth weight, and stillbirth. You also lower your baby's risk for SIDS, obesity, developmental delay, and neurobehavioral problems, such as ADHD.
  • If you have children, you lower their risk for ear infections, colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma.

For more information and support to stop smoking:

    Phone: 1- 800 - 784-8669
    Web Address:

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Cigarette Smoking and your Health (Ambulatory Care)

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