A report released by American Cancer Society along with several universities has linked a number of diseases, even basic infections, to smoking with the number of deaths in United States alone reaching 480,000. The study published in New England Journal of Medicine says that an addition of 60,000 to 120,000 deaths is seen each year which is linked to tobacco usage.
About a million Americans in the age group of 55 or older participated in five different studies since 2000. The health of these participants was tracked for a decade and causes of deaths were compared among former smokers, never smokers and smokers. Other reasons which could have influenced the participants’ health were also taken into account.
Death rates were found to be about twice or thrice as high among smokers as compared to non – smokers. Most of the deaths among smokers were found to be due to the 21 diseases which have been linked to smoking. These diseases included 12 different kinds of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
The study showed a 30% increase in death due to breast cancer among female smokers and 40% increase in death due to prostate cancer among male smokers.
A sign that these deaths are linked to smoking is that, once the participants quit smoking a sharp decline in these conditions was noticed.