Smoking deadlier than previously thought

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A new study suggests that smoking might be more dangerous to health than previously thought. Earlier scientists knew about 21 smoking-related diseases including diabetes, cancer and some cardiovascular diseases. However, researchers were shocked to find some other common diseases like kidney failure, breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc., linked to smoking.

“We were interested in whether smoking causes more than these diseases that are on the list. And we certainly did find some,” co-author Eric Jacobs from American Cancer Society said. “The fact that about 17 percent of the extra deaths that occur in smokers were due to causes that were not on the Surgeon General’s list was a bit of a surprise to me.”

For the study, researchers analysed nearly 90,000 current smokers, all above 54 years, for about a decade in USA. Scientists observed that smokers died earlier than non-smokers, but everyone knows that. What researchers found in the study after looking beyond the conventional causes was devastating. Smoking almost double the risk of death from kidney failure and the likelihood of death from intestinal ischemia was increased by six folds. All these diseases were not linked with smoking previously. In addition, death from infection was up by 2.3 times whereas death from cirrhosis of the liver was increased by 3.1 times.

“It’s not a surprise that smoking kills. We’ve known that for years,” said Jacobs, who is director of pharmacoepidemiology at the American Cancer Society. “But it’s important for people to realise the full impact that smoking has in terms of the national deaths. So eliminating smoking needs to be a national priority.”

According to a report, nearly 1 lakh people die of smoking each year in USA itself. In addition, many people get affected by passive smoking. The research has alarmed smokers to quit smoking or get ready to face early miserable death.

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