Tobacco Products

Lung Cancer and Smoking

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of American men and women.1 Not all people who get lung cancer are smokers, but many people who smoke do get lung cancer. In fact, smoking is directly responsible for more than 80% of lung cancer deaths.2 FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, established in 2009, has joined in the fight against lung cancer by working to:

  • reduce the number of people who start to use tobacco products
  • encourage more people to stop using these products
  • reduce the adverse health impact for those who continue to use these products

You may be familiar with some of the statistics, but if you, a co-worker, friend, or loved one is a smoker, it's worth taking another look at what cigarettes can do to our bodies.

Lung cancer is the number 1 cancer killer in the U.S. Nearly all lung cancer is caused by smoking (USDHHS 2014)

Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, including more than 70 that can cause cancer.3 Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body, including the esophagus, larynx, mouth, nose, throat, trachea, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, cervix, bone marrow, and blood.4

And, despite major progress over the past half-century, tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.7

  • More than 160,000 people die each year from cancers caused by cigarette smoking.5
  • Secondhand smoke causes more than 7,000 lung cancer deaths each year.5

Smoking can result in a wide range of deadly lung conditions (USDHHS 2014).

The statistics around young people are even more sobering. Each day in the United States:

  • Nearly 2,500 youth under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.6
  • More than 400 youth under 18 years of age become daily cigarette smokers.6

The good news is that you can do something about it now.


Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Lung Cancer

You, your friends, and family can get engaged in the following ways:


1. U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2012 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2015.
2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). The Health Consequences of Smoking - 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2014.
3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010.
4. U.S Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You (Consumer Booklet). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2010.
5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014.
6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality; 2016. http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015.pdf. Accessed September 9, 2016.
7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2014.


 

Page Last Updated: 08/18/2017
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