Smoking & Disease

Smoking & Disease


  • Tobacco use kills around 114,000 people in the UK every year, more than 300 every day.
  • About half of all regular cigarette smokers will eventually be killed by their habit.
  • Smoking causes at least 80% of all deaths from lung cancer, around 80% of all deaths from bronchitis and emphysema and around 17% of all deaths from heart disease.
  • Thirty per cent of all cancer deaths can be attributed to smoking.¬†Cancers other than lung cancer which are linked to smoking include:

    cervical cancer

    cancer of the pancreas

    cancer of the kidney

    liver cancer

    cancers of the mouth, lip and throat

    bladder cancer

    stomach cancer


  • Fewer than 10% of lung cancer patients survive five years after diagnosis.
  • Smokers who smoke between 1 and 14 cigarettes a day have eight times the risk of dying from lung cancer compared to non-smokers.¬†Smokers who smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day have 25 times this risk compared to non-smokers.
  • Cigarette smoking increases the risk of having a heart attack by two or three times, compared with the risk to non-smokers.
  • Smokers have a 10-16 times greater risk of developing peripheral vascular disease which may lead to amputation of one or both legs.
  • Smoking has been associated with increased sperm abnormalities and is a cause of impotence.
  • People who smoke and drink alcohol regularly are at greater risk of mouth and throat cancers.¬† One study found that among consumers of both products the risk of these cancers was increased more than 35-fold among those who smoked forty or more cigarettes a day and took more than four alcoholic drinks a day.
  • More than 17,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital every year because of the effects of passive smoking.