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Quitting Smoking Facts A-Z

Interesting quitting smoking facts, statistics and general information about the harmful health effects of smoking cigarettes, the benefits of giving up, chemicals contained in a cigarette, nicotine withdrawal symptoms and much, much more.

Visit the links for detailed quitting smoking facts related to those specific topics.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking reduces one’s cancer risk substantially, compared with the continuing smoker, even after many years of cigarette smoking.

Fifteen years after quitting cigarette smoking, the former smoker’s lung cancer risk, for example, is reduced close to that observed in nonsmokers.5

Also includes the quitting smoking timeline.

Cigarette Facts

Cigarette smokers generally weigh less (approximately 7 lb less on average) than non-smokers.

The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco caused 100 million deaths over the course of the 20th century.

Also see: Chemicals in Cigarettes.

Diseases Caused By Smoking

Based on the scientific evidence we have considered, smoking causes:

  • heart disease
  • cancers of the lung, larynx, oral cavity, and esophagus
  • chronic bronchitis
  • emphysema
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD or COLD)

Effects of Smoking

Tar coats your lungs like soot in a chimney and causes cancer. A 20-a-day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.

In younger people, three out of four deaths from heart disease are due to smoking.

Laser treatment

“There is no consistent evidence that acupuncture, acupressure, laser therapy or electrostimulation are effective for smoking cessation, but methodological problems mean that no firm conclusions can be drawn. Further research using frequent or continuous stimulation is justified.”1

Lung Cancer Facts

One of the less often touted facts about lung cancer is that smoking is THE major cause lung cancer.

Heavy smokers are 15 to 25 times more at risk than nonsmokers.5

If you stop smoking, the risk of lung cancer decreases and after ten years, the risk drops to a level that is one-third to one-half of the risk for people who continue to smoke.

All tobacco products contain substantial amounts of nicotine. Nicotine is absorbed readily from tobacco smoke in the lungs and from smokeless tobacco in the mouth or nose.4

Nicotine Addiction and Withdrawal

Nicotine is a naturally occuring chemical compound (like morphine and opium which come from poppy seeds).

Just like those chemicals, nicotine is very fast acting and it is one of the most addictive substances known to man.

Only some smokers experience severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Quitting Smoking Cold turkey

Success rates for quitting smoking cold turkey are only in the region of 4% to 7%3.

Counseling from a trained professional, NRT, Zyban and Chantix have been demonstrated to increase your chances of quitting smoking.2

Quitting Smoking and Weight gain

“In general, cigarette smokers weigh less (approximately 7 lb less on average) than nonsmokers. Many smokers who quit smoking gain weight.”4

Smoking suppresses the appetite and therefore you may feel hungrier when you give up.

Second Hand Smoke Statistics

Reasearch and statistics related to second hand smoke are abundant. They are open to interpretation and frequently quoted in a misleading or even biased contexts. Find links to a variety of reputable resources so that you can extract the facts for your self.


1. White AR, Rampes H, Campbell J. Acupuncture and related interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD000009. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000009.pub2

2. Foulds, J. Does laser therapy or acupuncture help smokers quit?. 2007. Available at (accessed on 25 July 2009).

3. Herrick, C., Herrick, C., Mitchell, M. (2009), 100 questions and answers about how to quit smoking, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc, MA.

4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of smoking: nicotine addiction a report of the surgeon general. (1988) Atlanta, GA.

5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The health consequences of smoking: cancer a report of the surgeon general. (1982) Atlanta, GA.

6. U.S DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. The health benefits of smoking cessation. U S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. Centers for Disease Control. Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Office on Smoking and Health. DHHS Publication No. (CDC) 90-8416. 1990.

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