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7 Deadly Diseases You Can Get from Smoking at a Young Age

Posted on 24th March, 2021

by Legal Staff

There are currently over 34 million smokers in the United States and 16 million people who struggle with health problems caused by smoking.

Nine out of 10 people began smoking when they were underage, which increases their risk of developing severe health problems to a great extent.

The risk of developing disease increases if you smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day and if you have been smoking for more than 40 years.

While most people associate tobacco smoking with lung cancer, there are actually many other diseases this unhealthy habit can result in. The following are 7 deadly diseases tobacco smoking can lead to:

1. Lung Cancer

Smokers are 15 to 30 times more likely to develop serious forms of cancer including lung cancer than those who don't smoke. Up to 90% of cases of lung cancer are the result of smoking. One in 3 people with lung cancer will live for at least 1 year after they receive their diagnosis, whereas 1 in 20 individuals will survive for at least 10 years following their diagnosis.

However, the life expectancy of people with lung cancer depends on numerous factors, such as how early the disease is found and how well it responds to treatment. At the moment, there are over 540,000 people throughout the country who are struggling with lung cancer. In the United States, lung cancer is one of the top causes of death.

2. Heart Disease

Tobacco smoking can affect nearly any organ in the body, including the heart. Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 toxic chemicals and can damage the function of your heart, as well as the structure of your blood vessels. This damage increases your risk of developing atherosclerosis, a heart disease in which plaque, a waxy substance, accumulates in your arteries.

Over the years, plaque becomes harder and narrows your arteries. In turn, this leads to a limited flow of blood with oxygen to your organs. According to the American Heart Association, smoking accounts for 20% of cases of heart disease. The average life expectancy for people with heart disease is a little over 21 years. If you develop congestive heart failure, your life expectancy will be less than 5 years.

3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The 2 types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. There are 16 million people in the United States who suffer from this lung disease and smoking is responsible for approximately 85% of cases.

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, your airways and the tiny sacs of the lungs will lose their ability to stretch and shrink back, which will result in difficulty breathing. Smoking is responsible for 8 out of 10 deaths caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Between 40% and 70% of people with this lung disease will survive for 5 years following their diagnosis.

4. Diabetes

People who smoke are 30% to 40% more susceptible to struggle with diabetes than non-smokers. Diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar levels are abnormally high. The majority of foods we consume turns into glucose and the pancreas is responsible for producing insulin to help glucose enter the cells of the body. However, when a person has diabetes, their pancreas is no longer able to make insulin.

Furthermore, smokers with diabetes are at high risk of developing serious health complications such as heart disease, peripheral neuropathy, and kidney disease. The best decision for a person who suffers from diabetes as a result of tobacco use is to quit smoking, which will prevent the onset of related health problems.

5. Esophageal Cancer

Smokers are 50% more likely to develop esophageal cancer, which is often fatal. It affects the lining of the esophagus, which is the muscular tube connecting the mouth to the stomach. According to the American Cancer Society, by the end of 2021, nearly 20,000 people will have received a diagnosis of esophageal cancer, the majority of whom are smokers.

Only 47% of people with esophageal cancer will survive for 5 years after they receive their diagnosis, as the disease is often very aggressive and spreads at a rapid pace to adjacent organs and tissues. It is worthy of note that excessive alcohol consumption also contributes to the development of esophageal cancer and when both risk factors are present, the person is significantly more likely to develop the disease.

6. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that occurs when the immune system destroys healthy cells in the body, may develop in people who have been smoking for 20 years or longer. Moreover, smokers are more prone to struggling with severe rheumatoid arthritis than non-smokers.

People who smoke have a higher level of inflammatory proteins known as cytokines in their bodies, which play crucial a role in the joint and organ damage that rheumatoid arthritis causes. The life expectancy of people with rheumatoid arthritis ranges between 10 and 15 years. Consequently, this disease may eventually prove deadly if you do not quit smoking.

7. Asthma

Because tobacco smoke is very irritating to the airways and the lungs, you may come to struggle with asthma if you smoke tobacco. Approximately 21% of people with asthma are smokers. If you already have asthma, smoking will worsen your symptoms and may trigger a flare-up. The lungs have a natural defense mechanism to keep dirt and germs out.

Cigarette smoke destroys healthy lung tissue and its defense mechanism. It is important to know that if you have asthma and are also a smoker, your risk of developing chronic obstructive disease and the chances of developing lung cancer increase considerably. For this reason, you should quit as soon as possible.

We Will Help You Receive Compensation from Liable Tobacco Manufacturers

For over 35 years, the team of experts at Atraxia Law has been evaluating personal injury and product liability claims, helping people injured by toxic agents or defective products recover the compensation they were eligible for.

If you are a smoker with lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or throat cancer and began smoking before 1964 as a minor, please contact our company to have your situation thoroughly assessed. If we find that you are eligible for filing a claim, we will guide you to a specialized attorney so that you can obtain the financial compensation you are entitled to.