Don't Ever Light Up! One Cigarette Can Be Deadly

This is the scariest smoking report ever.

Don’t Ever Light Up! One Cigarette Can Be Deadly

This is the scariest smoking report ever.

-Jane Farrell

A woman smoking

Cigarette smoke is so deadly that it can cause immediate DNA damage to both smokers and people who are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to a report from the U.S. Surgeon General.

The report is the 30th tobacco-related study issued by the Surgeon General’s office since it published its first report in 1964.

Read Stop Smoking—And Stay Skinny

According to a news release from the federal department of Health and Human Services, which includes the surgeon general’s office, the “cellular damage and tissue inflammation from tobacco smoke are immediate.” Regina Benjamin, the surgeon general, said that “inhaling even the smallest amount of tobacco can also damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer.”

Some other frightening facts from HHS:

*Not only does smoking cause cancer, it also decreases the efficiency of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
*Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body.
*Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals and compounds; at least 70 of those cause cancer.
*Cigarettes that are manufactured today deliver nicotine “more quickly and efficiently than the cigarettes of many years ago.”

Since anywhere between 45 and 48 million Americans smoke, tobacco use is one of the most serious public-health problem the country faces. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius said that reducing smoking is one of the most important health goals of the Administration. “Over the last two years we have stepped up efforts to reduce tobacco use, including implementing legislation to regulate tobacco products, investing in local tobacco control efforts and expanding access to insurance coverage for tobacco cessation.”

Benjamin stressed, though, that even with the serious damage tobacco causes, it’s never too late to quit. “But the sooner, the better,” she added. “Quitting at any time gives your body the chance to heal.”

Smokers who want to quit can visit the website or call 1-800-QUITNOW. (hhs)

Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.

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