Chronic Disease

About Smoking and Chronic Disease

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and causes numerous diseases. These include:

  • Cancer
  • COPD
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Asthma
  • Diabetes

Estimates show smoking increases the risk:

  • For coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times
  • For stroke by 2 to 4 times
  • Of men developing lung cancer by 25 times
  • Of women developing lung cancer by 25.7 times


The good news?

  • After just 20 minutes of quitting, your body begins to heal.
  • Just 1 year after quitting smoking, your risk for a heart attack drops sharply.
  • Within 2 to 5 years after quitting smoking, your risk for stroke may reduce to about that of a nonsmoker’s.
  • If you quit smoking, your risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder drop by half within 5 years.
  • Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk for lung cancer drops by half.

Lung Force

Lung Force, led by the American Lung Association, unites women to stand together against lung cancer and for lung health.

Only a force of many can take on lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer of women in the United States. Consider these eye-opening facts:

  • Every five minutes, a woman in the U.S. is told she has lung cancer.
  • The lung cancer death rate in women has more than doubled over the past 35 years.
  • Anyone can get lung cancer.
  • It’s a big problem—so we have big goals.

Learn more about Lung Force.

Additional Resources