Smoking: A Crime Punishable By Death


7:54 PM - Jan 30, 2001 #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library

"It's only cigarette smoking - it's not
like a crime punishable by death"

"So I failed in quitting smoking, big deal. I'm not going to feel guilty or be hard on myself. I mean, it is only cigarette smoking--it is not like a crime punishable by death." I had to refrain from laughing at this statement. It was seriously quoted to me by a clinic participant who failed to abstain from smoking for even two days. She had the same old excuses of new job, family pressures, too many other changes going on.

But to say that cigarette smoking isn't a crime punishable by death--that was news to me. Last year, over 400,000 Americans were killed by cigarettes. While we know that these people were killed by smoking, it is hard to classify these deaths. Were they murders, suicides or accidents?

When examining the influence of the tobacco industry, one is tempted to call all tobacco related deaths murder. The tobacco industry uses manipulative advertising trying to make smoking appear harmless, sexy, sophisticated, and adult. These tactics help manipulate adults and kids into experimenting with this highly addictive substance. The tobacco industry knows that if they can just get people started, they can hook them on cigarettes and milk them for thousands of dollars over the smoker's lifetime.

The tobacco institute always contradicts the research of all credible medical institutions who have unanimously stated that cigarettes are lethal. The tobacco institute tries to make people believe that all these attacks on cigarettes are lies. If the medical profession were going to mislead the public about cigarettes, it would be by minimizing the dangers, not exaggerating them. The medical profession has a vested interest in people continuing to smoke. After all, the more people smoke, the more work there is in treating serious and deadly diseases. But the medical profession recognizes its professional and moral obligation to help people be healthier. On the other hand, the tobacco industry's only goal is to get people to smoke, no matter what the cost.

It could be argued that a smoking death is suicide. While the tobacco industry may dismiss the dangers, any smoker with even average intelligence knows that cigarettes are bad for health but continues to smoke anyway. But I do not believe in classifying most of the smoking deaths as suicidal. Although a smoker knows the risk and still doesn't stop, it is not that he is trying to kill himself. He smokes because he doesn't know how to stop.

A smoking related death is more accidental than suicidal. For while the smoker may die today, his death was in great part due to his first puffs twenty or more years ago. When he started smoking the dangers were unknown. Society made smoking acceptable, if not mandatory in certain groups. Not only did he not know the danger, but also he was unaware of the addictive nature of nicotine. So by the time the dangers were known, he was hooked into what he believed was a permanent way of life. Any smoker can quit, but unfortunately many don't know how.

Whatever the classification--murder, suicide or accident--the end result is the same. You still have a chance, you are alive, and you know how to quit. Take advantage of this knowledge. Don't become a smoking statistic - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!



2:18 AM - Jan 31, 2001 #2

Zep, this was great----I needed to hear this...I am printing this out to post on my wall. By the way, did you happen to see the last few commercials of the Superbowl? I was crocheting, so I didn't change the channel when I knew the outcome was inevitable. There were 2 commercials--the first was a seemingly computer generated voice talking about the tobacco industry not being able to advertise anymore and not being able to use cartoon characters to push their product. Then it changes to the source of the voice--an elderly gentleman in a hospital bed with one of those voice-gizmos in his throat to enable him to talk.
The other, was a guy and his wife in many pictures in their early twenties and the husband was talking about her dying of cancer at 46. He said that they didn't know that 23 was middle-aged. They made a great impact on me and I hope they keep these up--these are the kind of commercials we need to see to realize that cigarettes can and definitely do kill and maim and take our loved ones away. Hope teens see these before they start to smoke. I have 2 weeks, 3 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes now and I have not smoked 418 horrible cancer sticks and I stole $62.70 from the tobacco companies


11:58 PM - Feb 01, 2001 #3

I needed this today, thanks, Zep. ~CC~ 21 days FREE.


10:20 AM - Feb 21, 2001 #4

Again in answer to why are you doing this. Because you want to live healthier. Also, because you don't want to die earlier. Do you need other reasons? Not really if you really consider the meaning of those two. But even so, other reasons exist, lot of them. Social reasons, economic reasons, psychological reasons, esthetic reasons, just being sick and tired of being a drug addict is a reason. Even without the medical risks these additional reasons are enough to make any rational person think twice. But combine the whole package deal together of smoking and you have all the reasons you will ever need to quit and stay off. To keep this quit the last quit keep remembering you are fighting for your freedom, your health and your life and to win this fight you must never take another puff!



9:36 PM - May 29, 2001 #5

Here is a whole other string that was attached to a duplicate string of this specific post.
From: Christiana (Silver) Sent: 10/12/2000 11:53 AM 1 of 8
I remember sometime in the early 70's going to two particular doctors who didn't minimize my cigarette smoking. One said don't come back until you guit. And the other was jumping up and down saying "You can't smoke, it's no good for you." Of course these are the doctor, i didn't continue to see. Sigh !!!! a great big Sigh!!!! cause after that time, i don't remember getting a lot of flack about it. I have never been one to doctor much, but the most said was, "you should Quit", I never saw the compassion again i had witness from those two doctors. Even today, smoking is minimized, and i am sad to say, it is made light of in the addiction field itself. You will hear phrases like, just work on one adiction at a time. Or this one will kill you, that one won't. I understand the not overwhelming an addict, during any quit, but it seems some new terminology needs to be thought up so as to not underestimate the other. I wish i could make myself clearer. The only thing i can say is yes! lots of people have died, and are seriously sick, because of making light of smoking. Thank you for the post. PS As usual i kow i'm off the beaten track a little. Christiana
From: sahara Sent: 10/12/2000 12:38 PM 2 of 8
I have faced the same thing with Dr's myself, except a "group" I had in Florida before I moved. They were willing to do anything to get me off smokes. Which included free care during my quit. I was so dumb then. I can't help but wonder about my current Dr, Becky. She has to ASK if I have quit everytime I go in. Hummm.. wonder if she is a smoker, otherwise she should be able to smell it right? I might just need to ask next time I'm in there. I know she won't lie to me.

From: Joel_ Sent: 10/13/2000 8:27 AM 3 of 8
Hello Christiana:

I saw that your post here was moved to our homepage today. I was glad to see that. It shows great insight to many doctors and the society's view in general about smoking and addiction. Too many people minimize the importance of quitting. I am glad the people here at Freedom are not among them.

Whether or not your doctors ever asks whether your smoke free or not, just remember, it still has to be important to you. All of us here at Freedom want to know too. We think it is important for you too, but that still is not as significant as you feeling its importance for yourself. The same applies to everyone else here Freedom too.

Everybody reading this, to keep your quit strong and lasting, remember, quitting is important to save your health and extend your life, and to accomplish both goals always remember to never take another puff!

From: Joel_ Sent: 10/13/2000 8:33 AM 4 of 8

As far an an addiction counselor saying this one will kill you that one won't as a rationalization for smoking, they are truly misinformed. Smoking kills more than all other drug addictions, including all alcohol deaths, combined. Zep did a great post a few days ago showing the relative risks of smoking compared to other factors. I am going to bring it up. Print it up and if you ever hear a counselor say it again, pass along the real information.
From: Christiana (Silver) Sent: 10/13/2000 1:53 PM 5 of 8
Thank You Joel, I agree, it's us who have to realize and feel how significant nicotine addiction is. And not miminize it's importance. The information has helped me immensely. coupled with support. I am no longer in the field, when i was i was an associated worker, a resident manager, he he a glorified house mom. Yet because we were hospital affiliated, we ran a great place, and i am proud of my work there, cept for the smoking. Maybe when i get more courage i will tell you what population we worked with. I keep wanting to call my old boss and tell them about this site, not only for the information regarding smoking but i think there is lots of good stuff here for addiction in general. I'm sure you wouldn't mind some adiction counselors and program directors learning this stuff, specially ones that housed pregnant women and their children. Later Christiana
From: Joel_ Sent: 12/11/2000 2:17 PM 6 of 8
I am bringing this one up after only a few days because of something JudyinVA wrote. She was comparing smoking to other addictions in the sense that the only difference was the legality issue. While it is true that smoking won't generally cause legal action, unless on a plane or some other infringment of a similar such restriction, by its nature it causes the smoker to pay a much higher toll than other drugs, it can cost the smoker his or her life. Because of the insideous nature of the addiction and its legal status, there is often nothing drastic enough to cause a real nature of bottoming out that is often experienced by other drugs. The risk of losing ones job, social status, family, friends and literal freedom if ever incarcerated is enough to motivate many drug users to quit before paying the ultimate toll of life. But smokers often don't have these other precursers to motivate a desire to quit. Many are waiting for sufficient motivation and unfortunately, that motivation may come in the form of a diagnosis and sometimes that it too late. In others, the first real sign that something is wrong can be sudden death, and that is really too late. Half of all smokers lose their life to tobacco. All lose their health to some degree and countless other penalties in the process. Whether legal or not, smoking is a crime against oneself. Don't incarcerate yourself any longer, don't give yourself a life sentence back to smoking.To stay healthy and free--never take another puff!

From: Joel_ Sent: 2/9/2001 8:07 AM 7 of 8
This thread touches on another aspect of the denial of treatment string. I do realize it is a sensitve issue and I understand the line that it straddles and seems to cross to some people. But often the physician has the best interest of the patient in mind when taking such a hard line approach. I recognize it because it is not all that dissimilar to the hard line approach we take here at Freedom, and for the same reason, we recognize that success or failure in quitting is a life and death issue. Unless viewed that way a smoker is likely to push his or her luck, smoking till the very last moment, sometimes his or her actual last moment. When refusing treatments, physicians and dentists may not only be trying to minimize their liability, improve their statistics or accomplish any other self-serving goal, they are sometimes just trying to save the person's life in the best way they know how, influencing the smoker to quit and then letting them repair what damage they can.

I think the people who responded to this string months ago recognized this issue. I was at my dentist yesterday who coincidently brought up this same topic. He was saying how periodontists often refuse procedures on smokers, one for the chemical irritation that smoking will do to the surgery and the other reason for the sucking motion on a cigarette causing problems with the sutures needed for procedures. He also brought up some issues specific to women and estrogen and smoking that apparently is playing havoc in some periodontal diseases. I am going to look into the issues when I get a chance.

Also when I was leaving the dental office, one of the office staff stopped me because her daughter had just left her a message on how she was going crazy after two days without smoking. I actually ended up in a 15 or 20 minute phone conversation with the daughter. Ended up missing my lunch but it was worth it if it gets her through that all critical third day mark.

I think it is important for everyone here to recognize that you all have been getting an education and an understanding of the nicotine addiction and its treatment that is helping you to stay nicotine free. But that understanding will not only be beneficial for you but for many around you. Most people don't know this information, even some of your medical professionals. Share with them your success and your knowledge.

You would be amazed at just how many people you may touch. When you are at your doctor or dentist, let them know you quit and how you did it and how you feel now that you quit. Don't assume this is uninteresting information, or something they have heard a thousand times before. It may have been told to them by others but they may not have actually heard it or assimilated the material. The most important message you can get across to them is your understanding of nicotine addiction.

Again, being medical professionals they may understand the danger or smoking but they often don't understand and have never been trained on the issue of the nicotine addiction. Share that information. The most important message you can share with them is your understanding of how you stay smoke free and how all their other patients can accomplish the same goal, if they simply understand the importance of remembering to never take another puff!

From: Fat Tony (BRONZE) Sent: 2/12/2001 3:48 PM 8 of 8
The straw that broke the camels back. Last November I went to the dentist for an annual check up. I had some parialdontal problems that required surgery. But because I smoked she refused to refer me and gave me a lecture about smoking. The weekend before I quit I had some painfull gum problem. That monday morning I began my quit. I beginning to realize that most of those annoying non smokers who tried to get me to quit, for the last 16 years, did it because they cared. I didnt know how much damage I was doing to myself and to my family and friends. thanks Zep

one month 3days 17 hours 43 minutes


9:50 PM - Jun 30, 2001 #6

Also for Mandie's husband, although everyone can benefit to remember these facts. Again, it should never be minimized by anyone that quitting smoking was a fight for your life. To win that fight always remember to never take another puff!



10:42 PM - Oct 17, 2001 #7

For Isabing and all people here who have ever lost a loved one from smoking. The odds are no one here has escaped this distinction. But you can escape following a similar route yourself as long as you always remember to never take another puff!


John Gold
John Gold

10:10 AM - Jan 28, 2002 #8

Bryan wanted you to know
Last edited by John Gold on 1:47 PM - Jul 07, 2009, edited 2 times in total.

John Gold
John Gold

3:18 AM - Feb 14, 2002 #9

Is the risk of death exaggerated?
You be the judge!

Cause of Death

How to Prevent These Deaths

1998 Deaths
AIDS condoms, education, research 13,426
Alzheimers medical research 22,725
Auto Accidents seatbelts, airbags, highway safety, training 42,191
Bike Accidents reflectors, lights, helmets and training 142
Breast Cancer mammography and medical research 42,068
Diabetes medical research 64,751
Drowning life jackets, swimming lessons, supervision 4,406
Drug Reactions read the labels, consult your pharmacist 276
Falls awareness, safety harnesses and helmets 12,595
Fires & Burns alarms, extinguishers, education and planning 3,362
Gun Accidents deprive children of access and hunter training 866
Hepatitis vaccine (A&B) and clean needles & testing (C) 4,796
Illegal Drugs motivation, education and support 16,926
Leukemia research, exercise, diet, and no tobacco 20,324
Lightening stay indoors and wear rubber shoes 10
Liver Disease sound diet, max. 2 oz. of alcohol, research 25,192
Meningitis vaccinations 768
Murder police, courts, prisons, awareness 18,272
Pedestrians reflective clothes, sidewalks and crosswalks 5,412
Poisoning secure cleaning fluids, poisons and pills 10,801
Prostrate Cancer testing, exercise, diet, research 32,203
Snake Bites awareness, boots, vaccines 8
Suffocation think, anticipate and alter ventilation 4,585
counseling, mental health and love 30,575
Syphilis abstinence, condoms, education 45
Ulcers avoid tobacco, alcohol and caffeine 4,695




Death by Tobacco
Suicide? Murder? Accident? Stupidity?
© WhyQuit.Com 2000

Why Wear Seatbelts?
Today there are almost 50,000,000 smokers in the United States, which is about 20% of our entire population. If 20% of the 42,191 who died in 1998 automobile accidents were smokers, your chances of dying from smoking are 50 times greater than being killed in a car accident. With those kind of odds, why even wear a seatbelt? With 200,000 middle aged smokers dying this year, each an average of 22.5 years early, why not sell the seatbelts and the airbags and use the money for a down payment on a coffin. Seriously! Have you ever been coffin shopping? It's a real eye opener - so many colors and lots of styles. Save your family the hassle! Plan and pay for your own funeral now. Last fall I corresponded with a 46 year old with small cell lung cancer and little time remaining. We had something in common. She mentioned that she always bought her cigarettes by the pack because she always believed that tomorrow she would finally quit. I did the same thing. We rolled the same dice. Her luck ran out. We both quit smoking. Sadly, the word "quit" was defined differently. Look again at the list above. Why not stay off the list altogether and die of natural causes at a ripe old age? Are you committing suicide or after you're gone do you want your family to consider it murder or an accidental death. Take the time to explain it to them now. It might make a needless death seem more understandable once you're gone. Is this simply more scare tactics or are these words truthful? The truth is that each and every day 1,178 Americans get bad news and none got to pick the date. Which cigarette, in which pack, will contain the irritant that gives birth to that first cancerous cell, to the first diseased cell, or that pulls the final trigger of death with the stroke or heart attack that follows. Roll those dice!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John R. Polito
Last edited by John Gold on 1:46 PM - Jul 07, 2009, edited 1 time in total.

John Gold
John Gold

3:22 AM - Feb 14, 2002 #10

This picture is of Bryan Lee Curtis and if you have not yet read
Bryan's story he has message that he'd like you to hear!
Last edited by John Gold on 1:48 PM - Jul 07, 2009, edited 1 time in total.

Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

1:08 AM - Aug 26, 2002 #11

.........Any smoker can quit, but unfortunately many don't know how.
Whatever the classification--murder, suicide or accident--the end result is the same. You still have a chance, you are alive, and you know how to quit. Take advantage of this knowledge. Don't become a smoking statistic - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


8:49 PM - Oct 05, 2002 #12

I saw the post today titled, I'm DYING for a cigarette!! The title and the explanation given by Tulip made me think of this post. Terms that are really descriptive of the situation and yet that the person uttering them totally misses the irony.

Well one term here that has no hidden or masked meaning is the final term of all my letters, that to stay smoke free is as simple and clear cut as just knowing to never take another puff!


SkyDawg Gold
SkyDawg Gold

12:59 AM - Oct 06, 2002 #13

Reminds me of a saying I used to use when people commented on how hard it was to find an area to smoke in, or how fewer people were smoking now:
Yes, we're a dying breed.
I used it because I did recognize the irony in it, but somehow I kept smoking. mmmmmmm
Last edited by SkyDawg Gold on 2:14 PM - Jul 07, 2009, edited 1 time in total.


7:46 PM - Mar 25, 2003 #14

I had a thought that smoking was a kind of euthanasia but i now realise most of us would not choose to start and if we knew how doable it is we could stop.Rickdabler 2 weeks 1 day 7hrs 36mins 10seconds nicotine free.

Toast GOLD
Toast GOLD

5:37 AM - May 18, 2003 #15

People smoking cigarettes can and do kill themselves.

The mother of a woman I know went to sleep with a lit cigarette this week and started a fire that burned her awfully - 2nd degree burns over most of her body. She lingered for a couple days in the hospital having had surgery and other treatments before dying. A dreadful, painful, and 100% preventable way to die.

23 months


12:54 AM - Oct 08, 2003 #16

For anyone questioning his or her resolve to stay smoke free.

Click on the cigarette below

It appears from the stories above that smoking is indeed a crime punishable by death.

John Gold
John Gold

9:54 AM - Dec 06, 2003 #17

It's Not Like It's a Crime
Before sharing today's breaking news out of the UK we need to remind members that Freedom has a non-debate policy as debate does absolutely nothing to further our mission of every member staying nicotine free today, in fact it can be divisive of the group and we already know that many here have strong, different and abiding conviction social controls over smoking.
So then why do we share controversial news stories here at Freedom? As food for thought about society's struggle over how to handle the mounting health costs, productivity losses and death toll associated with nicotine dependency. Why be part of society's exercise in damage control when we can be out comfortably engaging life as us?
That being said, here's the latest as Lancet, a respected British medical journal, has recommended a ban on U.K. smoking and making it unlawful.

The Lancet, Volume 362, Number 9399 06 December 2003

How do you sleep at night, Mr Blair?

Last week saw an unprecedented attack by the medical establishment of the UK on government health policy. In a letter to The Times on Nov 25, leaders of the 18 Royal Colleges of medicine and their faculties jointly condemn the failure of the UK government to introduce legislation to ban smoking in public places. Unlike parts of the USA (eg, California, Connecticut, Florida, and New York State), parts of Canada, Thailand, and south Australia, which have already introduced legislation, the UK government is sticking to its position that a voluntary code is sufficient. In response to the call in The Times, the Health Minister, Melanie Johnson, backed by John Reid, the Health Secretary, and Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, said that more needed to be done to persuade the public of the merits of a ban before it could be imposed. Meanwhile, the governments of Ireland, Norway, and the Netherlands are introducing bans on smoking in workplaces or inside all public places in 2004, and a European Directive is under consideration.
So is the UK government right? Does the UK public, in particular, need to be persuaded that a ban is needed? Naturally, the tobacco industry and its supporters are doing their best to persuade the public otherwise. Lord Harris of High Cross, a former chairman of the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (FOREST), argues that the Royal Colleges are indulging in headline-grabbing tactics because their case that passive smoking is harmful has suffered "a number of serious setbacks". Harris cites the BMJ's May 17 publication of a paper that did not show a causal link between environmental tobacco smoke and death. That research, which was funded by the tobacco industry, was highlighted on British American Tobacco's website the week of publication and continues to be described by BAT as "an important study which confirms that many of the estimates of the risks of public smoking are overstated in the extreme". What is absent from the BAT site and Harris's letter is any mention of the outpouring of letters to the BMJ questioning the methodology, and of course the funding, of this flawed study.
The UK public, though, is better at facing facts than its government, perhaps because the UK public does not have to consider directly the £9·3 billion per year raised in tax revenue on tobacco. Compared with that figure, the cost to the National Health Service of smoking-related diseases of £1·5 billion a year seems paltry. So does the £1 million the government spent on a television campaign with images of babies apparently smoking to illustrate the dangers to children of second-hand smoke, and the £138 million spent helping smokers to quit.
Most people--smokers and non-smokers--support restrictions on smoking in workplaces, and half even support restrictions in bars. 80% of people in the UK are non-smokers, and have the right to freedom from exposure to proven carcinogens. Employers who allow smoking in their workplaces are exposing their employees to a proven health hazard. And since restaurants, bars, and clubs are workplaces too, their owners have a duty to protect their workforces. It has been estimated that 1000 people a year in the UK alone die from second-hand tobacco smoke.
Second-hand smoke not only kills but also makes it more difficult for smokers to give up. Most smokers want to quit, but failure to provide smokefree working and social environments makes their goal more difficult to reach. In a report by the Royal College of Physicians, it is estimated that if all workplaces in the UK became smokefree, 300 000 would quit, saving 150 000 lives. Tobacco kills 4·2 million annually worldwide, and is estimated to kill over 10 million a year by the late 2020s. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, and cigarettes are the most toxic and carcinogenic means of delivering nicotine. Calling for a ban on smoking in public places is a start, but it is missing the point. Tim Lord, the Chief Executive of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association, believes that price is the main determinant of how many smokers there are. We disagree. Availability and acceptability are more important. If tobacco were an illegal substance, possession of cigarettes would become a crime, and the number of smokers would drastically fall. Cigarette smoking is a dangerous addiction. We should be doing a great deal more to prevent this disease and to help its victims. We call on Tony Blair's government to ban tobacco.

The Lancet

John Gold
John Gold

8:58 PM - Mar 10, 2004 #18

Actual Causes of Death
in the United States, 2000
Ali H. Mokdad, PhD; James S. Marks, MD, MPH; Donna F. Stroup, PhD, MSc; Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH
JAMA. March 10, 2004;291:1238-1245
Journal of the American Medical Association
Context Modifiable behavioral risk factors are leading causes of mortality in the United States. Quantifying these will provide insight into the effects of recent trends and the implications of missed prevention opportunities.
Objectives To identify and quantify the leading causes of mortality in the United States.
Design Comprehensive MEDLINE search of English-language articles that identified epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory studies linking risk behaviors and mortality. The search was initially restricted to articles published during or after 1990, but we later included relevant articles published in 1980 to December 31, 2002. Prevalence and relative risk were identified during the literature search. We used 2000 mortality data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify the causes and number of deaths. The estimates of cause of death were computed by multiplying estimates of the cause-attributable fraction of preventable deaths with the total mortality data.
Main Outcome Measures Actual causes of death.
Results The leading causes of death in 2000 were tobacco (435 000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (400 000 deaths; 16.6%), and alcohol consumption (85 000 deaths; 3.5%). Other actual causes of death were microbial agents (75 000), toxic agents (55 000), motor vehicle crashes (43 000), incidents involving firearms (29 000), sexual behaviors (20 000), and illicit use of drugs (17 000).
Conclusions These analyses show that smoking remains the leading cause of mortality. However, poor diet and physical inactivity may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death. These findings, along with escalating health care costs and aging population, argue persuasively that the need to establish a more preventive orientation in the US health care and public health systems has become more urgent.
Author Affiliations: Division of Adult and Community Health (Dr Mokdad), Office of the Director (Drs Marks and Stroup), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and Office of the Director (Dr Gerberding), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga.
© 2004 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

John Gold
John Gold

2:57 AM - Feb 18, 2005 #19

Last edited by John Gold on 2:05 PM - Jul 07, 2009, edited 1 time in total.

John Gold
John Gold

10:16 AM - Jan 14, 2006 #20

The Health Consequences of Smoking
A Report of The Surgeon General 2004

Smoking Among Adults in the United States: Cancer
  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death and was among the first diseases causally linked to smoking. (p. 39)
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, and cigarette smoking causes most cases. (p. 61)
  • Compared to nonsmokers, men who smoke are about 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer and women who smoke are about 13 times more likely. Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80% in women. (p. 39)
  • In 2003, an estimated 171,900 new cases of lung cancer occurred and approximately 157,200 people died from lung cancer. (p. 42)
  • The 2004 Surgeon General's report adds more evidence to previous conclusions that smoking causes cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, lung, and bladder. (pp. 42, 62, 63, 116, 166)
  • Cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) in tobacco smoke damage important genes that control the growth of cells, causing them to grow abnormally or to reproduce too rapidly. (p. 44-45)
  • Cigarette smoking is a major cause of esophageal cancer in the United States. Reductions in smoking and smokeless tobacco use could prevent many of the approximately 12,300 new cases and 12,100 deaths from esophageal cancer that occur annually. (p. 119)
  • The combination of smoking and alcohol consumption causes most laryngeal cancer cases. In 2003, an estimated 3800 deaths occurred from laryngeal cancer. (p. 62)
  • In 2003, an estimated 57,400 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed and an estimated 12,500 died from the disease. (p. 166)
  • For smoking-attributable cancers, the risk generally increases with the number of cigarettes smoked and the number of years of smoking, and generally decreases after quitting completely. (pp. 39, 42)
  • Smoking cigarettes that have a lower yield of tar does not substantially reduce the risk for lung cancer. (p. 61)
  • Cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing mouth cancers. This risk also increases among people who smoke pipes and cigars. (p. 67)
  • Reductions in the number of people who smoke cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and other tobacco products or use smokeless tobacco could prevent most of the estimated 30,200 new cases and 7,800 deaths from oral cavity and pharynx cancers annually in the United States. (p. 67)
New cancers confirmed by this report
  • The 2004 Surgeon General's report newly identifies other cancers caused by smoking, including cancers of the stomach, cervix, kidney, and pancreas and acute myeloid leukemia. (pp. 137, 167, 170, 183, 254, 324-325)
  • In 2003, an estimated 22,400 new cases of stomach cancer were diagnosed, and an estimated 12,100 deaths were expected to occur. (p. 178)
  • Former smokers have lower rates of stomach cancer than those who continue to smoke. (p. 182)
  • For women, the risk of cervical cancer increases with the duration of smoking. (p. 169)
  • In 2003, an estimated 31,900 new cases of kidney cancer were diagnosed, and an estimated 11,900 people died from the disease. (p. 166)
  • In 2003, an estimated 30,700 new cases of pancreatic cancer were diagnosed, attributing to 30,000 deaths. The median time from diagnosis to death from pancreatic cancer is about 3 months. (p. 136)
  • In 2003, approximately 10,500 cases of acute myeloid leukemia were diagnosed in adults. (p. 252)
  • Benzene is a known cause of acute myeloid leukemia, and cigarette smoke is a major source of benzene exposure. Among U.S. smokers, 90% of benzene exposures come from cigarettes. (p. 252)
Smoking Among Adults: Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke
  • Coronary heart disease and stroke-the primary types of cardiovascular disease caused by smoking-are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. More than 61 million Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and other conditions. More than 2,600 Americans die every day because of cardiovascular diseases, about 1 death every 33 seconds. (p. 363)
  • Toxins in the blood from smoking cigarettes contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a progressive hardening of the arteries caused by the deposit of fatty plaques and the scarring and thickening of the artery wall. Inflammation of the artery wall and the development of blood clots can obstruct blood flow and cause heart attacks or strokes. (p. 364-365)
  • Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Coronary heart disease results from atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. (p. 384, 407)
  • In 2003, an estimated 1.1 million Americans had a new or recurrent coronary attack. (p. 384)
  • Cigarette smoking has been associated with sudden cardiac death of all types in both men and women. (p. 387)
  • Smoking-related coronary heart disease may contribute to congestive heart failure. An estimated 4.6 million Americans have congestive heart failure and 43,000 die from it every year. (p. 387)
  • Smoking low-tar or low-nicotine cigarettes rather than regular cigarettes appears to have little effect on reducing the risk for coronary heart disease. (p. 386, 407)
  • Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of strokes. (p. 393)
  • The U.S. incidence of stroke is estimated at 600,000 cases per year, and the one-year fatality rate is about 30%. (p. 393)
  • The risk of stroke decreases steadily after smoking cessation. Former smokers have the same stroke risk as nonsmokers after 5 to 15 years. (p. 394)
  • Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm. (p. 397)
Smoking Among Adults in the United States: Respiratory Health
  • In 2001, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, resulting in more than 118,000 deaths. More than 90% of these deaths were attributed to smoking. (p. 500)
  • According to the American Cancer Society's second Cancer Prevention Study, female smokers were nearly 13 times as likely to die from COPD as women who had never smoked. Male smokers were nearly 12 times as likely to die from COPD as men who had never smoked. (p. 500)
  • About 10 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is consistently among the top 10 most common chronic health conditions. (p. 499)
  • Smoking is related to chronic coughing and wheezing among adults. (p. 490, 509)
  • Smoking damages airways and alveoli of the lung, eventually leading to COPD. (p. 498)
  • Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to have upper and lower respiratory tract infections, perhaps because smoking suppresses immune function. (p. 425, 447)
  • In general, smokers' lung function declines faster than that of nonsmokers. (p. 482)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.
Last edited by John Gold on 2:07 PM - Jul 07, 2009, edited 2 times in total.

John Gold
John Gold

4:26 AM - Jan 27, 2008 #21

Big rise in lung cancer
Australia's Herald Sun
January 25, 2008

Kamahl Cogdon

AUSTRALIANS are paying a rising price for their past smoking sins, figures show.

Private health insurance claims for lung cancer have soared 21 per cent for women and 24 per cent for men in five years, despite smoking rates falling to record lows.

Health insurance giant MBF said the rise in lung cancer claims from 2002-06 was a deadly legacy of an era of few restrictions on sales of cigarettes and where they were smoked.

Quit Victoria director Fiona Sharkie said more than 80 per cent of lung cancer cases were caused by smoking, and the disease took about 20 years to develop.

Ms Sharkie said 30 per cent of Victorian women and 37 per cent of men smoked 20 years ago.

But now just 16 per cent of women and 20 per cent of men were smokers.

MBF chief medical office Christine Bennett said the rise in lung cancer claims for men was expected because they were heavier smokers than women.

But Ms Bennett said women were gaining.

"The growing number of lung cancer claims for women reflects the health and social impact of a period when the female smoking rate began catching up with that of men," she said.

"Our claims data shows women are paying a high health price for taking up smoking when there were few restrictions on cigarette sales, or curbs on smoking in public places.

"Australia has made significant progress in the past 20 years in reducing smoking rates but we are still experiencing an unfortunate health care legacy."

Ms Sharkie said the fall in Victorian smoking rates was already being reflected in declining numbers of lung cancer cases in the state.

But nationally, lung cancer has risen steadily over the past 20 years, from 6349 new cases in 1986 to an estimated 9187 new cases in 2006, and a forecast 10,302 new cases in 2011.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures show the disease claimed the lives of 4733 men and 2531 women in 2004.

Source: (Herald Sun)
Copyright Herald Sun 2008 - All Rights Reserved
Last edited by John Gold on 2:10 PM - Jul 07, 2009, edited 1 time in total.

John Gold
John Gold

10:47 AM - Apr 01, 2008 #22

Smoking after cardiac transplantation

American Journal of Transplantation. 2008 Apr;8(4):866-71.

Botha P, Peaston R, White K, Forty J, Dark JH, Parry G.
Department of Cardiopulmonary Transplantation, Freeman Hospital, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. [][/url]


Although smoking cessation is a prerequisite prior to listing for cardiac transplantation, some patients return to smoking after recovery. We have covertly assessed the smoking habits of our cardiac transplant recipients (with ethical approval) since 1993 by measuring urinary cotinine: a level of >500 ng/mL signifying continued tobacco use. We retrospectively analyzed survival, causes of death and the development of graft coronary artery disease (GCAD) with respect to the number of positive and negative cotinine levels. One hundred four of 380 (27.4%) patients tested positive for active smoking at some point posttransplant, and 57 (15.0%) tested positive repeatedly. Smokers suffered significantly more deaths due to GCAD (21.2% vs. 12.3%, p < 0.05), and due to malignancy (16.3% vs. 5.8%, p < 0.001). In univariate analysis, smoking after heart transplantation shortened median survival from 16.28 years to 11.89 years. After correcting for the effects of pretransplant smoking in time-dependent multivariate analysis, posttransplant smoking remained the most significant determinant of overall mortality (p < 0.00001). We conclude that tobacco smoking after cardiac transplantation significantly impacts survival by accelerating the development of graft vasculopathy and malignancy. We hope that this information will deter cardiac transplant recipients from relapsing, and intensify efforts in improving cessation rates. ... 07.02119.x

Stevo Wev0
Stevo Wev0

4:29 AM - Apr 02, 2008 #23

Hi all,

Oh dear:

"One hundred four of 380 (27.4%) patients tested positive for active smoking at some point posttransplant, and 57 (15.0%) tested positive repeatedly."

I'm guessing, it's not clear in the text, that the numbers refer to those who had given up smoking prior to surgery rather than never-smokers. I'd like to point out before we all condemn the fools that in the UK the health authorities are in bed with the big pharmaceutical companies (they proudly talk of 'deals' on the department of health web site) so it can't be easy for the poor souls after transplant. On the radio it says constantly to '… see your pharmacist' if you want to stop smoking here in England and those adds are paid for by my taxes!

NTAP and don't ingest nicotine


Joined: 7:22 PM - Nov 11, 2008

11:51 PM - Oct 18, 2010 #24

Death by Smoking
How should your family describe your cause of death?
Was it suicide, murder, an accident or stupidity?
Although the below chart was compiled primarily using 2006 United States ,
data, your nation's overall death category percentages may be fairly similar.
Cause of Death How to Prevent These Deaths    2006 Deaths  
AIDS condoms, education, research 12,113
Asthma no prevention, only treatment 3,613
Auto Accidents seatbelts, airbags, highway safety, training 45,316
Bike Accidents reflectors, lights, helmets and training 714
Breast Cancer mammography and medical research 41,210
Diabetes medical research 72,449
Drowning life jackets, swimming lessons, supervision 3,579
Influenza treatment, vaccines 849
Falls awareness, safety harnesses and helmets 20,823
Fires & Burns alarms, extinguishers, education and planning 3,109
Gun Accidents deprive children of access and hunter training 642
Hepatitis vaccine (A&B) and clean needles & testing (C) 7,250
Illegal/Legal Drugs motivation, education and support 24,400
Leukemia research, exercise, diet, and no tobacco 21,944
Lightening stay indoors and wear rubber shoes 57
Liver Disease sound diet, max. 2 oz. of alcohol, research 27,555
Meningitis vaccinations 634
Murder police, courts, prisons, awareness 18,573
Poisoning secure cleaning fluids, poisons and pills 27,531
Prostate Cancer testing, exercise, diet, research 28,372
Shark Attacks awareness, education 1
Skin Cancer limit sun exposure, use screening products 8,441
Snake Bites awareness, boots, vaccines 5
counseling, medication and love 33,300
Syphilis abstinence, condoms, education 36
Tuberculosis treatment, vaccine, education 652
Ulcers avoid tobacco, alcohol and caffeine 3,323

Death by Tobacco
Suicide?  Murder?  Accident?  Stupidity?
© WhyQuit.Com 2010

Why Wear Seatbelts?
Today there are roughly 46 million current smokers in the United States, which is nearly 20% of our entire population.  If 20% of the 45,316 who died in 2006 automobile accidents were smokers, your chances of dying from smoking are roughly 50 times greater than being killed in a vehicle collision.  With those kind of odds, why even wear a seatbelt? With roughly 200,000 middle-aged smokers expected to die from smoking related diseases this year, each an average of 22.5 years early, wouldn't it make more sense to sell the seatbelts and the airbags and use the money for a down payment on a coffin?

I corresponded with a 46 year-old with terminal lung cancer and little time remaining.  We found we had something in common.  She mentioned that she always bought her cigarettes by the pack too because she always believed that tomorrow would finally be the day she quit.  We rolled the same dice.  Her luck ran out.  We both quit smoking.  Sadly, with entirely different outcomes.

Why not stay off of the above list altogether and increase your odds of dying of natural causes at a ripe old age? Why cause your own death and accept 50% odds of losing roughly 5,000 sunrises? Is gradually smoking ourself to death committing suicide? If the world's dirtiest drug delivery device kills you, should your family consider your death to be murder or an accident? You may want to try to explain it to them now.  It might help take the sting out of their coming belief that you loved nicotine more than them.

According to the World Health Organization, each and every day smoking claims more than thirteen thousand lives.  Which cigarette in which pack contains the toxin that gives birth to that first cancerous cell, to the first diseased cell, or that pulls death's trigger in producing a massive heart attack or stroke? 

It isn't that we can't hear the entire world screaming the insanity of us smoking pack after pack. It's that our addicted limbic mind is screaming even louder that smoking nicotine is as important as eating, with quitting akin to starvation.

Nicotine addiction is a disease and "wanting" disorder of the mind that's as permanent as alcoholism and enslaves the same dopamine pathways as illegal drugs. The following two free e-books will make you more dependency recovery savvy and than your addiction is strong. Knowledge isn't just power but a quitting method.


Joined: 7:22 PM - Nov 11, 2008

6:34 PM - Mar 12, 2012 #25

Sadly, the below study asserts that, for the first time, the annual U.S. smoking related deaths has climbed to more than a half million per year, 520,000.   Still just one rule for each of us ... no nicotine today.   John 

Smoking-attributable mortality in the United States. Epidemiology. 2011 May;22(3):350-5.

Rostron B.
Source Department of Demography, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA. [][/url]

Abstract BACKGROUND: Various methods are used to estimate smoking-attributable mortality, but these methods often produce differing results. Most do not provide estimates for specific age groups or directly control for confounding factors.

METHODS: US smoking attributable mortality by age is estimated here based on relative mortality hazards for smokers and observed death rates for never-smokers. Hazard ratios for smokers are estimated through survival analysis of data from adults in the 1997-2004 National Health Interview Survey, followed for mortality through the end of 2006. A variety of possible confounding risk factors are controlled for in the analysis.

RESULTS: There were an estimated 291,000 smoking-attributable deaths among men and 229,000 such deaths among women annually in the United States from 2002 through 2006. These figures are generally consistent with, but somewhat higher than, published estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, particularly for women.

CONCLUSION: This method provides reasonable estimates of total and age-specific smoking-attributable mortality in the United States that include controls for potential confounding factors.

PMID:  21378573

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Link:
Last edited by JohnPolito on 6:39 PM - Mar 12, 2012, edited 1 time in total.