Another Reason to Switch: 14 Million Major Health Conditions Linked to Smoking

We all know that cigarettes are toxic for our health, but a new study suggests that smoking could be linked to far more health concerns than we ever previously imagined. According to the new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, scientists now believe that smoking causes 14 million medical conditions in the United States. That is a 9 percent increase on the CDC’s estimate from ten years ago.

Brian Rostron is familiar with the dangers of smoking through his work at the Center for Tobacco Products with the FDA. He led the recent study and analyzed data collected in a national census in 2009 and a national survey conducted from 2006 to 2012. After examining all of the data, Rostron said the researchers found that 7 million people are suffering from 11 million medical problems that are primarily caused by smoking. Half of the senior citizens reported at least one medical issue related to smoking. The scientists eventually concluded that cigarettes cause a total of 14 million medical conditions.

Rostron said that the long lasting damage from tobacco use is becoming a major health crisis for the United States. “That’s obviously an immense number,” he said. “It’s continuing to be a problem. Even if people are former smokers, they have lasting lung damage.”

So what are the conditions that are most often linked with smoking? Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, topped the list with 4.3 million reported cases. Some other health problems that topped the list were heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and diabetes. One of the most surprising findings was that smoking often led to cancers in internal organs close to the lungs, rather than in the lung tissue itself.

Dr. Steven Shroeder, a medical professor at the Universtiy of California, said this new study should be eye opening to people that are still puffing on cigarettes. “The implication is that smoking causes more harm than we previously thought, much of it in chronic pulmonary obstructive disease,” he said. “When you think about how smoking hurts you, people usually think about deaths first, and then those who are sick. There is much more lifetime illness related to smoking.”

Scientists also found that men and women experience nearly equal rates of smoking related diseases even though more men are smokers. The researchers speculated that women are more vulnerable to disease because of constant exposure to secondhand smoke.

This is just another timely reminder that smoking is toxic for your health. If you want to avoid millions of debilitating medical problems, then your best option is to quit today. Research shows that ecigs are a good option to help you quit so why not switch to vaping before it’s too late?

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