Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death in the world.
Tobacco use leads
most commonly to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being
a major risk factor
for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),
cancer(particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic
It also causes peripheral vascular disease and hypertension, all developed
due to the exposure
time and the level of dosage of tobacco. Furthermore, the earlier and the
higher level of
tar content in the tobacco filled cigarettes causes the greater risk of
Cigarettes sold in developing nations tend to have higher tar content,
and are less likely
to be filtered, potentially increasing vulnerability to tobacco-related
disease in these regions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that tobacco caused 5.4 million
in 2004 and 100 million deaths over the course of the 20th century. Similarly,
States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes tobacco use
as "the single
most important preventable risk to human health in developed countries
and an important
cause of premature death worldwide.
Smoke contains several carcinogenic pyrolytic products that bind to DNA
and cause many
genetic mutations. There are over 19 known chemical carcinogens in cigarette
Tobacco also contains nicotine, which is a highly addictive psychoactive
When tobacco is smoked, nicotine causes physical and psychological dependency.
Tobacco use is a significant factor in miscarriages among pregnant smokers.
to a number of other threats to the health of the fetus such as premature
births and low
birth weight and increases by 1.4 to 3 times the chance for Sudden Infant
Syndrome (SIDS). The result of scientific studies done in neonatal rats
seems to indicate
that exposure to cigarette smoke in the uterus (womb) may reduce the fetal
to recognize hypoxic conditions, thus increasing the chance of accidental
Incidence of impotence is approximately 85 percent higher in male smokers
to non-smokers, and is a key factor causing erectile dysfunction (ED).