Smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans per year

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 7:17 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - According to the CDC, smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans per year and 41,000 of those deaths are attributed to second-hand smoke.

May 31 is no tobacco day, a day dedicated to the teachings and explanations of all the health consequences of tobacco use. Tobacco use includes:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Vaping/E-cigarettes
  • Smokeless Tobacco (dipping)

Tobacco products contain carcinogens that can stunt lung function and cause health issues including:

  • COPD and emphysema
  • Cancer (lung, throat, mouth etc.)
  • Cardiovascular issues
    • Heart disease

Kristin Hom, D.O. is a licensed physician at Sentara RMH who has seen irreversible issues caused by smoking. She said that quitting smoking is the number one way to stop from these long-term illnesses caused by tobacco.

“People primarily associate it with lung cancer but really smoking can impact all types of cancer in the body,” Hom said. “It impacts your cardiovascular risk as well, increases the risk of heart problems and risk of stroke.”

Hom said tobacco products can hurt fertility in both men and women as well. She said pregnant women who are smoking can cause serious birth defects in infants such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or babies who are significantly below healthy size/weight.