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Smoking and Cancer

Quitting smoking now can improve your health almost immediately, and significantly reduce your risk for many different health conditions, including more than 10 different types of cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases the risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Smoking can cause many types of cancer almost anywhere in the body, including:

  • Blood (acute myeloid leukemia)
  • Bladder
  • Cervix
  • Colon and rectum
  • Esophagus
  • Kidney and renal pelvis
  • Larynx
  • Liver
  • Lungs
  • Mouth and throat
  • Pancreas
  • Stomach
  • Trachea, lung, and bronchus

If you are a smoker, it’s not too late to quit and improve your health! Here’s what happens to your body when you quit smoking:

  • 1 hour after quitting: Heart rate returns to normal, blood pressure begins to drop.
  • 12 hours after quitting: The body clears itself of excess carbon monoxide from smoking, increasing oxygen levels.
  • 1 day after quitting: Risk of heart attack drops.
  • 2 days after quitting: There is no more nicotine in your body.
  • 3 days after quitting: Lungs begin to heal, making it easier to breathe and increasing energy levels.
  • 1-3 months after quitting: Lungs continue to heal, lung capacity improves, athletic endurance increases, coughing and shortness of breath decreases.
  • 1 year after quitting: Risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.
  • 5 years after quitting: Risk of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half, and risk of stroke and cervical cancer is the same as a nonsmoker.
  • 10 years after quitting: Risk of dying from lung cancer drops by half.
  • 15 years after quitting: Risk of getting heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker.

Quit Smoking for Free!

Quitline is a FREE tobacco cessation service available through a toll-free telephone number. Quitlines are staffed by counselors trained specifically to help smokers quit. Quitlines deliver information, advice, support, and referrals to tobacco users—regardless of their geographic location, race/ethnicity, or economic status—in all U.S. states. 

1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)