85 Mind Blowing Facts About Smoking

Whether first hand, second-hand or third-hand smoking, as long as it entails inhaling the resulting smoke from burnt dried tobacco leaves and absorbing it into the bloodstream, it is deadly. Most at times smoking is practiced as a route of administration for recreational drug use, other times it is taken to keep warm and most other times, it is taken for fun. Some reasons might be to ease off tension, to give in to peer pressure or it can be personal and explainable.

In some cultures, smoking is carried out as part of rituals, where someone smokes to induce a trance-like state which they believe can lead them to spiritual enlightenment. Whatever the reason is for smoking, the habit is associated with ill-health and death. All over the world, millions of studies have been conducted on smoking and in conclusion they all pointed out that smoking is dangerous to the health and smokers have lower chances of living healthier and longer lives. This article is packed full with health, statistical and other facts about cigarettes and smoking that you didn’t know before.

1. Scientists claim the average smoker will lose 10 years of their life due to smoking. This does not necessarily mean that a smoker will die young. It means he will die 10 years before his actual death date.

2. Breathing the air in Beijing has the same health risk as smoking 21 cigarettes a day. In January 2014, there was a heavy smoke smog in Beijing “airpocalypse” which made the authorities to block major highways in the northeast of China.

3. The number of skin cancer cases due to tanning is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to smoking.

4. About 8.6 million people in the U.S. have at least 1 serious illness that was caused by smoking.

5. The world’s youngest smoker ever is Aldi Rizal, a chiness baby who started smoking at the age of 18 months. At three years he was taken to rehab and by then already had the habit of smoking 40 cigarettes per day.

6. Smoking is the cause of 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S annually. Also, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death.

7. Cigarettes are the most littered item on Earth.

8. For every person who dies from a smoking-related disease, there are 20 more who suffer from at least 1 serious illness associated with smoking.

9. The CDC estimates that adult male smokers lose an average of 13.2 years of life and female smokers lose 14.5 years of life because of smoking.

10. The oldest woman in the world, Jeanne Calment from France, started smoking at the age of 21 and quit at the age of 117, five years before she died. Looking at her example smokers may start thinking that quitting is not such a good idea.

11. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke while pregnant can affect the baby’s growth and development which may lead to low birth weight.

12. Several active ingredients and special methods of production are involved in making sure the nicotine in a cigarette is many times more potent than that of a tobacco plant.

13. ‘Toppings’ are added to the blended tobacco mix to add flavor and a taste unique to the manufacturer. Some of these toppings have included; clove, licorice, orange oil, apricot stone, lime oil, lavender oil, dill seed oil, cocoa, carrot oil, mace oil, myrrh, beet juice, bay leaf, oak, rum, vanilla, and vinegar.

14. Cigarette smoking is very dangerous to women who use birth control pills, especially after the age 30. Women who smoke and take the Pill are at a much higher risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure than  women who do not smoke while taking the Pill.

15. Women who smoke during pregnancy have more stillbirths, miscarriages, and premature deliveries than women who don’t smoke.

16. Most smokers take up the habit in their mid teens before the legal age for purchasing them, and is seen as a right of passage towards adulthood and one of the factors responsible for teenage pregnancy.

17. Smoking tobacco is the ultimate gateway drug in that it is legally available, and involves mastering a unique method of intake – much more so than alcohol. Smokers who want t to get ‘high’ will very rarely do so from cigarettes after the initial stages of taking up the habit.

18. Smoking makes you ugly. It causes premature wrinkles, makes the skin dry and leathery, and causes yellow teeth, tooth decay, and bad breath.

19. Smokers generally report a variety of after-effects; such as calmness, relaxation, alertness, stimulation, concentration and many others. In fact, smoking will produce a different effect in each individual depending on their expectations.

20. Children breathe faster than adults and are more vulnerable to smoke. Asthma, respiratory infections, other respiratory problems and ear infections are more frequent in children who are exposed to smoking, either first hand or second-hand.

21. Cigarettes are the world’s most popular placebo. It satisfies the brain’s hunger for nicotine which induces relaxation. The smoker then uses these expectations as a means to continue the habit.

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22. People who smoke have twice the risk of developing cataracts and are two to three times more likely to develop AMD or age-related macular degeneration which can cause vision loss and blindness than people who do not smoke.

23. Girl smokers breasts sag faster because smoking destroys a protein called elastin, which gives youthful skin its elastic appearance.

24. As for men, smoking can shorten the length of their penis.

25. Taking short quick puffs when smoking tobacco has a stimulating effect, while deep puffs induces sedation.

26. High dose of nicotine produce pain-killing and calming effect.

27 The cartoon “Scooby Doo” was based on a group of pot smoking teenagers. The constant hunger, hallucinations and a hippie van.

28. Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease including coronary heart disease, stroke, aortic aneurysm, atherosclerosis, and peripheral artery disease

29. Exposure to second-hand smoke causes nearly 50,000 deaths per annum in America alone.

30. The Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. started smoking marijuana at the age of 6. Another star deeply addicted to cigarettes is Daniel Radcliffe.

31. Nearly 1 to every 5 deaths in the U.S. is related to tobacco.

32. The risk of heart disease and stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people who smoke as compared to those who do not smoke.

33. In 2012, 18.1% of Americans, 18 and older, were current smokers.

34. A single cigarette contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, including 70 cancer-causing chemicals.

35. In 2013, states collect $25.7 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements but are spending less than 2 percent of that on tobacco control programs.

36. Every year, there are approximately 46,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are current non-smokers.

37. Smoking increases your risk of getting lung diseases like pneumonia, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

38. Respiratory diseases caused by smoking include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, asthma and acute respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia.

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39. In Canada, smoking causes about 80% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

40. Smoking reduces the effectiveness of treatments and delays healing of wounds. People who smoke stay longer in recovery room and their broken bones take nearly twice as long to heal.

41. A group of four dropouts and their dog go around the country in a psychodelic love machine, selling drugs for a living.

42. Scientists have discovered that if you quit smoking by 40, you’ll avoid the worst of the negative effects. Many experts recommend to quit smoking abruptly instead of slow quitting.

43. 15 billion cigarettes are smoked worldwide every day at ten million cigarettes per minute.

44. Smoking near Apple computers voids the warranty. Second-hand smoke causes a build-up of ash inside the machine and Apple will reject any computer that was exposed to second-hand smoke

45. Barack Obama used to smoke weed during his younger years.

46. Since NYC banned smoking in public indoor spaces, there has been a 25% increase in obesity among adults living in NYC.

47. Smoking one cigarette takes about 11 minutes off of your life span. The average person who smokes may die 10 years earlier than a similar non-smoker.

48. Smoking causes the following cancers: mouth, throat, larynx, lung, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder, stomach, cervix and acute myeloid leukemia.

49. Cigarettes are the single-most traded item on the planet, with approximately 1 trillion sold from country to country each year. At a global take of more than $400 billion, it’s one of the world’s largest industries.

50. The nicotine content in several major brands is reportedly on the rise. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Health Department revealed that between 1997 and 2005 the amount of nicotine in Camel, Newport, and Doral cigarettes may have increased by as much as 11 percent.

51. In 1970, President Nixon signed the law that placed warning labels on cigarettes and banned television advertisements for cigarettes.

52. U.S. cigarette manufacturers now make more money selling cigarettes to countries around the globe than they do selling to Americans.

53. The American brands Marlboro, Kool, Camel and Kent own roughly 70% of the global cigarette market.

54. The single most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of  cancer is to live smoke free.

55. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Canada. Most forms of lung cancer do not produce any symptoms in its early stages. By the time it is diagnosed, the cancer has advanced to more lethal stages. It is   estimated that 85% of all lung cancers are attributable to smoking.

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56. The risk of oral cancer is 5 to 10 times higher among people who smoke than those who do not smoke.

57. Smoking is also linked to increased risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

58. Years of smoking is associated with lower Parkinson’s risk.

59. About 69% of smokers want to quit completely. More than half of them tried, but only 6,2% succeeded. This habit is one of the most difficult to quit.

60. People who go for brisk walks will experience less stress, less anxiety and fewer withdrawal symptoms when trying to give up smoking.

61. Cigarettes contain arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia and 43 known carcinogens.

62. In the early 1950s, the Kent brand of cigarettes used crocidolite asbestos as part of the filter, a known active carcinogen.

63. Urea, a chemical compound that is a major component in urine, is used to flavor cigarettes.

64. In 2000, fires from tobacco smoking caused $27 billion in damages in costs.

65. In most countries around the world, the legal age for the purchase of tobacco products is now 18, raised from 16, while in Japan the age minimum is 20 years old.

66. Smoking is the leading cause of premature death and illness in Newfoundland and Labrador.  In Newfoundland and Labrador, 14-16 people die each week from a tobacco-related illness.

67. One out of every two people who smoke will die from a smoking-related illness and one-half of those deaths will occur prematurely in middle age from ages 35-65

68. The short-term health consequences of smoking include respiratory effects such as cough and increased frequency and severity of illnesses like asthma, chest colds and bronchitis, as well as addiction to nicotine.

69. Contrary to popular social belief, it is NOT illegal to smoke tobacco products at any age. Parents are within the law to allow minors to smoke, and minors are within the law to smoke tobacco products freely. However, the SALE of tobacco products to minors is what is illegal.

70. Smoking bans in many parts of the world have been employed as a means to stop smokers smoking in public. As a result, many social businesses have claimed a significant drop in the number of people who go out to pubs, bars and restaurants.

71. The U.S. states with the highest percentage of smokers are Kentucky (28.7%), Indiana (27.3%), and Tennessee (26.8%), while the states with the fewest are Utah (11.5%), California ( 15.2%), and Connecticut (16.5%).

72. Cigarettes can contain more than 4,000 ingredients, which, when burned, can also produce over 200 ‘compound’ chemicals. Many of these ‘compounds’ have been linked to lung damage

73. 10 % of all fire deaths are caused by careless smoking.

74. Every day 1000 of American teens become addicted.

75. Every day nearly 4000 teens in the U.S. smoke their first cigarette.

76. Tobacco kills more people in Canada than all deaths caused by traffic accidents, suicides, murders, and drug abuse combined.

77. More than 1000 non-smokers will die this year in Canada due to tobacco use. Over 300 lung cancer deaths and at least 700 deaths from coronary heart disease will be caused by second-hand smoke.

78.  Nicotine reaches the brain within 10 seconds after smoke is inhaled. It has been found in every part of the body and in breast milk.

79. Sugar approximates to roughly 20% of a cigarette, and many diabetics are unaware of this secret sugar intake.

80. Smokers draw on ‘lite’ and menthol cigarettes harder (on average) than regular cigarettes. This causes the same overall levels of tar and nicotine to be consumed.

81. Lite cigarettes are manufactured with air holes around the filter to aerate the smoke as it is drawn in. Many smokers have learned to cover these holes with their fingers or their lips to get a stronger hit.

82. The immune systems of smokers has to work harder every day than non-smokers. As a result, a smokers’ blood will contain less antioxidants, although a smokers immune system may be quicker to respond to virus attacks due to its more active nature.

83. Smokers often smoke after meals to in a way to allow food to digest easier. In fact, this works because the bodies priority moves away from the digestion of food in favor of protecting the blood cells and flushing toxins from the brain.

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84. Most males can be aroused by the sight of a female smoking. This is called the Smoking Fetish and the reason for this arousal can usually be traced back to incidents in childhood. However, menthol cigarettes force blood away from the penis if smoked during arousal.

85. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 25% of cigarettes sold around the world are smuggled.

Amara Onuh
Amara Onuh
Amara is a personal finance and entertainment writer and journalist by trade with several years of experience covering businesses, CEOs, and celebrity profiles. She has worked as a full-time writer since 2015, and while she finds almost all the topics she writes about interesting, her favourite subjects are personal finance, business, entertainment, celebrities, and travel. Other than writing, she either spends most of her time reading Christian books or keeping up with the latest international news


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