Healthwatch: Smoking Report

By: Christy Feig
By: Christy Feig

Now, a new report by the current Surgeon General is linking smoking to more diseases.

Smoking has been known to cause heart disease and some cancers like lung. Now, the U.S. Surgeon General says there's new evidence to show it causes disease in nearly every organ in the body.

"The list of diseases caused by smoking has been expanded to include abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute myeloid leukemia, cataract, periodontitus, pneumonia, and cancers of the cervix, kidney, pancreas, and stomach," said Dr. Richard Carmona.

Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemical agents, according to the National Cancer Institute, including more than 60 substances that are known to cause cancer in humans. The toxins in cigarette smoke go everywhere the blood flows.

The tobacco industry said, "We agree with the medical and scientific evidence that cigarette smoking causes serious diseases and that there is no safe cigarette. In the long run, we will be working to try to reduce the harmful compounds in cigarette smoke."

The u.s. surgeon general says, since the first report in 1964, 12 million Americans have died from smoking related illness, often 13-14 years before they would have died if they did not smoke.

"Nearly 25 million Americans alive today are destined to die prematurely unless they quit smoking cigarettes," said Carmona.

And studies show it's never too late to stop smoking. Even quitting at the age of 65 or older can cut your risk of dying from a smoking related disease in half.

Read all previous WTOK Healthwatch articles here.

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