Health Information
Smoking Risks

People who smoke cigarettes are gambling with their lives.  The costs are high and there are no winners.

The chart below shows the personalized risks for cigarette smokers.  We are able to predict the chance of major health problems from smoking based on a person’s age, blood pressure, cholesterol, amount smoked, and lung capacity.

The example is for a 39-year-old man who has smoked two packs of cigarettes per day since age 16.  His blood pressure, cholesterol, and lung function are normal.  The table shows his risk of having a heart attack, severe emphysema, or lung cancer.  All these risks drop if he cuts down or quits smoking.

At age 39, he has smoked 335,800 cigarettes. He has the following risks of a heart attack by age 59, emphysema by age 54, or lung cancer (lifetime risk):

Amount smoked

Risk of Heart Attack

Risk of Emphysema

Risk of Lung Cancer

Total Risk

40 Cigs

14%

31%

10%

46%

27 Cigs

10%

19%

6%

31%

14 Cigs

8%

10%

3%

20%

1 Cig.

5%

5%

1%

10%

0 Cig

5%

5%

1%

10%

Decline In Lung Function With Smoking

Tobacco Chart

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