Add breast cancer, prostate cancer, kidney failure, liver damage and all manner of infections to the long list of health risks that come with each pack of cigarettes.
A study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine expands the number of medical problems linked to smoking. While the association between lighting up and getting lung cancer, stroke and heart disease have been known for years, the latest findings significantly broaden the scope of risk associated with tobacco use.
The U.S. Surgeon General recently estimated that smoking kills about 437,000 Americans annually, but that figure could increase by 60,000 to 120,000 if the newly identified conditions are included.
Twelve types of cancer have long been recognized as major contributors to increased mortality among smokers. Now putting breast and prostate cancers — two of the most prevalent forms of the disease — in the same category has ignited a fresh round of discussion in academic and medical circles about how best to help adult smokers quit and youths to never start. Read more.