For those smokers who thought that cutting back the number of cigarettes they smoke per day would help their overall health, the truth may be hard to hear. According to U.S. Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin, even one cigarette a day can be dangerous to your health. In addition,secondhand smoke is as bad for you as experts have said for years: inhaling cigarette smoke from a single cigarette can pose significant health consequences.
U.S. Surgeon General Benjamin recently stated:
“The chemicals in tobacco smoke reach your lungs quickly every time you inhale, causing damage immediately. Inhaling even the smallest amount of tobacco smoke can also damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer.”
In her official report she also noted that inhaling smoke is immediately harmful to the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight against smoke-related cancers if they do develop. Furthermore, she re-confirmed that smoking is linked to emphysema, lung cancer, and cardiovascular diseases, as well as other illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control cites smoking as the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S., with 440,000 estimated Americans dying each year from smoking-related illnesses. While it may seem like old news to hear that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health, the campaign to end smoking still has a long way to go, according to the Surgeon General. In fact, the percentage of Americans that still smoke on a daily basis has hovered around 20% since 2003.