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April 20th, 2011
08:45 AM ET

How quickly does lung cancer develop for smokers?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

I started smoking socially in high school and still do. How long would it take for someone like me develop lung cancer?

Asked by Tom of Cleveland

Expert Answer

Dear Tom,

There have been several questions about smoking recently. I thought your question really important. In answer to it, there is no such thing as a safe amount of cigarette smoking. I urge you to quit. Studies show that it is far easier for a light smoker to quit than someone who smokes a pack and a half or more per day.

Also keep in mind there is no such thing as a safer cigarette. The risk of lung cancer does increase with both the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years a person has smoked. A 35-year-old male who smokes fewer than 25 cigarettes per day is estimated to have a 9% lifetime chance of dying of lung cancer, whereas 25 cigarettes per day or more gives him an 18% lifetime chance of dying of lung cancer. There are some estimates that lifetime risk of lung cancer in a very heavy smoker is about 30% overall, whereas it is 1% or less in nonsmokers. This translates into about a third of very heavy smokers developing lung cancer. Also, 15 to 20 of every 100 patients who have lung cancer are lifelong nonsmokers. Some get it because of secondhand smoke and some get it for unknown reasons.

People who start smoking at younger ages are at higher risk later in life. Lung cancer rates begin increasing in the mid to late 40s and peak in the late 70s. Many people think low tar or filtered cigarettes are safer. The truth is most people will compensate for these cigarettes by inhaling deeper and/or smoking more cigarettes in order to satisfy their need for nicotine.

While you ask about lung cancer, it is important to remember that occasional cigarette use can increase risk of cardiovascular disease dramatically. This is very pertinent, because cigarette smoking kills more people from cardiovascular diseases (heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease) than all cancers combined. It is a common observation that a town that makes smoking in public illegal lowers it heart attack rate within six months. This is primarily because the decrease in secondhand smoke exposure decreases the number of heart attacks in nonsmokers. Just think about the dose of smoke to even a casual smoker over six months compared to a nonsmoker exposed to occasional secondhand smoke.

Cigarette smoking is linked to a number of diseases. Lung cancer is most famously associated, but tobacco smoking causes cancers of the head and neck (mouth, throat, sinuses), esophagus, stomach, kidney, pancreas, bladder, uterine cervix and even certain types of leukemia. Fourteen different cancers in all are caused by smoking. Smoking also causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, such as bronchitis and emphysema. It worsens asthma. Smoking is linked to high blood pressure, ulcers, osteoporosis, diabetes and reproductive disorders such as infertility, miscarriage and premature menopause.

There are significant benefits to smoking cessation. Most tobacco-related disease can be prevented if one stops smoking by age 40. Even for older people and for those with tobacco-related disease, there is significant benefit to smoking cessation. Short-term, cessation causes cravings, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating and restlessness. Some may have a worsening of the smoker's cough. Long term, many complain of weight gain and increased depression.

Someone who is thinking of quitting should seek counseling from a physician or other experienced health care professional. Nicotine gum, nicotine patches and some other medications can be very helpful with smoking cessation. Counseling through telephone quit lines and internet support groups can also be helpful.


soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Mikey

    WE all make choices, some good some not so good. Choosing to smoke is not a good choice. I smoked for over 35 yrs averaging 2 ok a day. 11 yrs ago I had a laryngectomee (voice box removed)and now breath through a hole in my neck. Not real pleasant. Communication with an artifical larynx is my primary means of verbal communication.
    My wife smoked for 30 yrs and was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in 2008. Went into remission twice. Now it is in her liver.
    Did we make bad choices, yes. There is no such thing as a safe cigarette.
    We made the choice and only have ourselves to blame. No one placed a gun at my head and said SMOKE. Those who do smoke will only quit when they so desire.
    It's your choice, make the right one.

    April 21, 2011 at 06:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lee

      i am sorry that you blame yourself, did you forget that tobbaco is a drug that people become addicted to. My husband died of lung cancer and he tryed several times to quit just like alot of drug addicts, he finally had to quit cold turkey when his lung colasped at age 45. he was dianoised with small cell lung cancer 20 years later and died after 6 months of chemo and radiation. if the tobbaco companies were selling cocaine we would stop them, the problem is there is big money in taxes for the goverment and the cancer drs. don't do to bad either. there is so much money in chemo that it would close the doors of alot of clinics if they brought out the real cure for cancer.

      May 19, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      personal responsibility has a large part to play. Making cocaine illegal has not stopped people from using it. Advertising of tobacco products has been curtailed recently, something i am strongly against.

      May 5, 2015 at 19:38 | Report abuse |
  2. person

    I am so tired of people and government dictating what we as citizen should do with our lifes. Could cancer possibly be caused from our govenment testing nuclear weapons here in the USA? How about all the chemicals that are used in the food we eat from the ground to the animals to drinking water? I am pretty sure they also test chemicals for warfare using the citizens of America as ginny pigs.
    People are so gullible.

    April 21, 2011 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Person 2

      Yeah – good thing we have non-gullible people like you clinging to reason, giving guiding light to all us gullible people. And way to bring an article about science back to soft-paternalism. Nicely played. If only you could have blamed something on Obama...

      May 6, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      I agree with you 100%. There's other chemicals in the world.

      August 30, 2013 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • epmcdonald66

      PREACH! People act as if second hand smoke is so terrible and yet people stand around camp fires all the time. In the end you're body is going to rot in the ground, God forbid there be tar in your corpse. 😮 😮 Let smokers be smokers.

      July 7, 2014 at 02:57 | Report abuse |
    • spell much??

      guinea pigs.. .just sayin spell much ?

      December 16, 2016 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
    • joel

      It's funny how most of these people dying from government spread nuclear cancer are smokers. Sounds like all the more reason to quit

      September 25, 2017 at 01:11 | Report abuse |
  3. Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson

    Healthcare Town Hall » Actuarial study anticipates, supports recent findings on lung cancer screening. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=3248

    April 21, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Smoker

    Hey Non-Smoker, you are a tool. what stupid comments you make. I bet you are a liberal. Do you drink?? Same crap except it is destroying another organ!

    May 6, 2011 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Former Smoker

    I smoked for only 2 years. In that time, I was diagnosed with Asthma. I went from a healthy 45 year old to a unhealthy person with severe asthma. I pay over $300 a month for asthma medication that I will have to take the rest of my life. I have no health insurance so this really bites into my budget. I blame no one but myself for these problems. Sure, I enjoyed smoking, but the price you pay is much too high. My mother quit smoking 30 years before dying of lung cancer. She was diagnosed in November and died the following March. Very tragic. I miss her so much and she lead a healthy life after she quit 30 years ago. Cigarettes are evil!!!

    May 13, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Just Quit.

      I just quit smoking a month ago. I've been smoking for 2 years. Its pretty difficult and i still have cravings. I wish that i had never started but seeing these story's helps me get my mind back on track when i have a urge. But the only thing i got from smoking for 2 years was a cough that went away a couple weeks after i stopped. But im glad i quit. Better now then later. Im a 20 year old female

      April 9, 2013 at 07:20 | Report abuse |
    • rao

      Seriously?? Did you smoke like four packs a day? I've been smoking for fourteen years and have had no adverse health problems yet. But two years and getting major asthma? Nope, not buying it.

      January 26, 2015 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
  6. Lung cancer victims

    There's 2 methods to be able to recognize for those who have carcinoma of the lung. An example may be from the recognition of the different earlier signs and symptoms along with by way of diagnostic ...lung cancer

    January 19, 2012 at 21:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. jorge

    i like to ask if anyone thinks electronic ciggarettes are safe?

    March 8, 2012 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. dil wale

    hey like i only smokes for 6 monhs and like 4 cigretts a day and now my chest and stomach hurts sumtime so does that means im dealing with sum kind of disease? and sumtime blood comes out when i spit please get back at me

    May 2, 2012 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vishal

      Plz see on net that are the symptoms of the lung cancer consult your doctor

      February 27, 2014 at 01:57 | Report abuse |
  9. Amy

    Grandfather smoked since he was a kid, died at 82 from lung cancer he got from asbestos, not smoking. Maternal grandma is 72, smoking on and off since 12 - never had lung cancer. Paternal grandma is 62, got 4th stage lung cancer and beat it. It's returned. My best friend's great grandmother died at 99 from natural causes, though she smoked since she was very young. My father's friend had his voice box removed in his late 20's from smoking. ... It's a grab bag and there's a ton of factors, including genetics and exposure (to the cigarettes, as wel as environmental).

    May 5, 2012 at 01:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. John Smith

    Hi I recently just tryed my first cigar and I need to know, am I in any danger? I'm never going to try it again!!! I didn't inhale and I brushed my entire mouth? Is my body in any harm, especially my lungs? I need to know just to be able to get my mind back. Please get back to me.
    Thanks, John

    August 17, 2012 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rich Span

      John, please don't listen to that answer, he is trolling. If you had one cigar you are in no danger at all. The only danger will be if you now have more cigarettes, they are very addictive. It's not worth it.

      October 5, 2012 at 16:04 | Report abuse |
  11. Goat

    ARTICLE DOES NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION! THE QUESTION, JERK!

    How long does it take to develop symptoms and kill you!?
    I've had irritated lung and rib pain for 3 years. Would cancer have killed me by now!?

    P.S. Once again, reading the comments, I'm impressed by how stupid and delusional you Yanks are.
    Is Rainman still America's most intelligent person?

    January 2, 2013 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rain Man

      I'm a excellent driver.

      April 29, 2013 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
    • Dontbeanidiot

      Funny how most smokers only think about cancer. Cancer is likely the least you'll need to worry about. Smoking causes so many health problems other than cancer and many of them just as life-threatening as cancer.

      When people aren't sick, they don't think about what it would be like to feel terrible all the time, or to have a stroke and, if you're lucky, only lose some of your motor and mental skills, condemning you to a terrible existence. At some point, you'll start wishing you weren't so stupid and had put forth more effort into maintaining your health... assuming a heart-attack or aneurysm doesn't take you suddenly before you get to experience the joy of enduring constant pain and suffering.

      Bottom line is that if you continue to smoke, you're at the very least shortening your life and can look forward to spending the last few years being miserable and wishing you weren't so stupid and had listened when the world was telling you that you should quit.

      January 11, 2016 at 22:51 | Report abuse |
  12. Kathleen Murphy

    Dr. Brawley did not answer the question that was asked. HOW LONG does it take to develop cancer from smoking? Or to add my own question – from exposure to secondhand smoke?

    January 28, 2013 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Inga

    Absolutely pent content, regards for information. "Necessity is the mother of taking chances." by Mark Twain. Inga http://f0rcedpri0rity.tumblr.com

    February 11, 2013 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Nick

    this is a helpful response. I started smoking when I was 18. I'm now 23 and I think I finally waked the hell up and realized what I've been doing to myself. I'm a week without a cigarette and I'm determined to never smoke one again. The main point I've grasped after doing lots of random research is that you never know if you're going to get cancer or diseases or anything.. but a clear (and high enough) percentage do. My dad's smoked for 20 years and doesn't seem that unhealthy.. Then one of my brother's friends smoked for just a couple years and had blood clots or something like that caused from smoking and had to amputate his leg (he had a blood condition he was unaware of). Cigarettes are evil, scary things

    March 6, 2013 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jason

      Very unlikely that 2 years of smoking caused someone to get their leg amputated. C'mon peeps. Unless you have a massive genetic predisposition to a disease and are just a millimeter away from getting it anyway, smoking for a few months or a few years is unlikely to cause anything chronic or fatal. If you are already have COPD or chronic asthma or have a severely depressed immune system, then you shouldn't start smoking anyway unless you just want to do yourself in quicker. You are just being paranoid and hypochondriacal by thinking a little smoking caused these irreversible traumas.

      June 22, 2016 at 08:41 | Report abuse |
  15. Young

    Guys,i have been smoking Shisha for 3 years,is it possible that i might have Lung cancer?

    April 25, 2013 at 02:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Isla Brazzil

    Lung cancer is such a scary thing. Yet, it is so hard for people to quit smoking! People like me, that smell bad and are spending too much money on cigarettes. I recommend all smokers to switch to e-cigarrettes. Many smokers have to find an e-cigarette that they like before they can truly transition, and recently I have found the most amazing e-cigarrette. I have not smoked a real cigarette in days and I can't believe the positive change my body is undergoing. TRY THEM OUT if you are a smoker, and you will be amazed at how smooth the taste is! They helped my friend quit smoking and they are the positive change you need! REPUBLIC E CIGARETTES, seriously will blow your mind! Check them out and let me know if you enjoy them as much as I do! republicecig.com

    May 13, 2013 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Confussed

    lung cancer in people who've never smoked seems to be on the rise. WHY is that?Bet ya have no answers.I got a answer ITS the air we all breathe.. I am so dang sick og EVERY case of Lung Cancer the first questions asked by damn near everyone is "Did they smoke""" Followed by Must be second hand smoke.What if its neither..Something NEEDS to be done about the fact that
    lung cancer in people who've never smoked seems to be on the rise. Looks to me like it don't matter IF you smoke or have never touched any kind of tobacco at all SOME still will have Lung cancer....I want a study done on this FACT but it will go ignored

    August 14, 2013 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. John's Wife

    I'm not here to bash smokers. I've never smoked. My husband, John, does. Been married 32 yrs and hope there is more, but, I am not sure. He's 67 and I'm 63. I just know that smoking since he was about 13, has caught up with him. His coughing is harsh and all day and phlegm is constant. Wheezes and has no energy. He used to eat, but, even that is down to toast and coffee and I make him lunch and supper doesn't interest him. He's lost weight. Sleep? He does almost all day and is up in the wee hours having a smoke in his bedroom. Used to be ours, but, I sleep on the couch as the coughing and smoke bothers me so much. But, I hardly sleep.

    I asked him to see the doctor, but, he won't go. Just lights up and has his beers (3-5 per night) and tunes me out. There is so much I wish we could do, but, he has trouble walking and is irritable a lot. I promised him "in sickness and in health" but I don't want him sick. All he does is watch tv and lay down. I feel him just slipping away every day. I can't make him go to the doctor's. He's worried what he would be told. He won't give up the smokes.

    Excuse my long comments. It's hard on the non-smoker as well. Take care all of you.

    September 16, 2013 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mike

      Dear Johns Wife
      It sounds like your husband has Copd. I have been looking after my mom for 4 years now and many of the things you describe my mom has had. If he wont quite at least try and get him to smoke out side. Copd is not cure able but if he quits and starts meds the progression of the disease will slow
      wishing you the best

      November 13, 2013 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
  19. Emily Smith

    My husband had stage four lung cancer has been cured within the Rick Simpson Hemp oil. My husband has been through chemo 3 times, but this time his condition was getting worse that I was afraid it will kill him. When a friend of mine directed me to Rick Simpson at: ricksimpsoncannabisoil@outlook.com where I could buy the medication from, because the Rick Simpson has help cured his own Brain tumor and I strongly recommend that he would helped me with my husband cancer
    and cure it completely, I never believed the story, but today, with thanks giving in my heart, My husband lungs cancer has been cured within the Rick Simpson hemp oil and I want you all to join hands in appreciation of the great work that is been done by rick Simpson, he is the man that saved the life of my husband with hemp oil, thanks to him. You can contact him through his email: ricksimpsoncannabisoil@outlook.com I'll keep thanking him because he is God sent to save my family that was at the stage of collapsing all because of my husband cancer.
    Emily smith, United State of America.

    October 4, 2013 at 07:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Dr. Travis

    Thanks

    Dr.travis from http://smokingkillyou.com/

    October 16, 2013 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. abigail

    what's the odd of getting lung cancer if you smoke cigarettes for ten years?

    October 17, 2013 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Lindsay

    My name is Lindsay... I smoke.. I started smoking in 2011/2012 because my parents got divorced and my friends said it would would help my depression I am now addicted I can't stand smoking but I don't know how to quit and I'm so scared I'm going to get lung cancer before the age of 20. My mother doesn't know if she did I would be done quit because she wouldn't allow that. I've never felt so terrified in my life I watched my grandmother die of lung cancer and its a slow painful and a suspenseful death. Someone anyone please.... Just help me.

    December 4, 2013 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bellarose003

      Consult a doctor and ask for advice or a therapist..who ever know about this kind of stuff just ask them 🙂

      July 3, 2017 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
  23. Name*Ashley Somers

    I was wondering I've been smoking off and on but just started taking it into my lungs 2 days ago. I'm quitting smoking because I don't want to be addicted to it and don't want lung cancer or anything else. Do you think I'll be ok? I'm only 18.

    March 3, 2014 at 04:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evan

      First off don't listen to "Cga". They're trying to freak you out, and are just being a troll. While I agree that only one cigarette can potentially increase your risk, that doesn't equal 15 years of smoking. Smoking without inhaling can still lead to medical conditions in the mouth or gums however. I've smoked for 5 years, sometimes I inhale, sometimes I don't. Quiting now though would greatly reduce the risk of developing a disease later on in life. As people have mentioned it can be a hit or miss. Other factors play a huge part in our overal health like the food we eat, and our environmental location. The biggest point to make is don't freak out by what "Cga" said. If you truly wish to quit there are helpful sites out there you just need to put in a small amount of research.

      September 21, 2015 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
  24. Odongo samuel

    I have been a heavy smoker for four years now, i actually have started feeling some sot of sharp pains around inside my stomach, in my chest i feel i feel a burning, and whenever i go for anothher cigarrete, i lose water in my mouth. I really wanna quit this behaviour, please help advice how to start quitting. Am just seeing am dying soon please help

    April 14, 2014 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. kurt

    I have been smoking since I was 10 and i am now 19, I smoke e cigarettes sometimes but still smoke a pack of regular cigarettes a day. I started having breathing problems a few months ago and I am thinking of just sticking to the e cig but it seems i still cant breathe on those either, it would be hard for me to quit because my grandmother whom i live with smokes mom, dad other grandmother, etc. i just wonder if i switch to the e cig will my breathing,get better.

    May 28, 2014 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. bala

    iam smoking for past 3 years ....I will smoke 2-5 cigarettes per day ...did I got cancer? ?? from before 1 week I left my smoking habit ....how to prevent cancer? ??

    June 15, 2014 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Abhishek

    If a person somke a 10 cigrate per day how soon he will die

    June 21, 2014 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. rakesh

    i am smokin from past 4years not morethan 5 cigerretes a day.will i get throat cancer o mouth cancer now?
    my age is 21years

    July 28, 2014 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Akbar hussain

    today on words I'll leave smoking .
    thank u

    August 29, 2014 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. SkinHead

    Hey kid, you wana a better, easier to understand version? I am only 20 years old man. I started a social smoker in high school the same as you. I didn't believe anyone about smoking, risks, cancer, or addiction. I smoked trying to be cool. Few here, few there, then I finnished school and got a job. Stress over welmed me. I started smoking more.. went from one or two every few days to a pack a day. From there I got hooked. Didn't have the power to quit. I went through hell week for the se.a.l.s before I shattered my arm I have great mental power but couldn't quit smoking. Next thing I knew I started coughing up blood, had knots in my throat, weak feeling and more.. went to the doctor and after a while found out I had lung AND throat cancer... spreading to. Spread to my lympnots.. and STILL could not quit... then, my teeth started to get weak, break off, and feel out. And keep in mind I'm only 20yrs old right now. Smoked. For maybe 4 years if that. And almost half of that was social smoking. Took me over a year to quit smoking after I found out about having cancer... so my point is not only is it unhealthy, it also is hard to stop I am now stage three lung cancer and in the process of trying to get help. I lost my job due to my health and then lost my medicare due to obama. Think about that each puff bro.. don't try to quit. Just do it
    .

    November 24, 2014 at 06:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • No One

      Such a touching story. My granny died at 48 due to smoking.

      December 7, 2015 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
  31. Aashish

    i have started to smoke from class 8 n now me in lvl 12 . do u tell me that there is how much chance for me to be a suffering from cancer .these day my neck is also paining .

    December 24, 2014 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Nic

    Jesus...you people are a bunch of hypochondriacs out here!

    December 28, 2014 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Jai

    "Most tobacco-related disease can be prevented if one stops smoking by age 40." .. This is simply wrong unfortunately. Although the percentage may be low if lifestyle is sedentary and stressful Cancer can strike in 30s and 40s as well. Immune system and body is kept busy with physical activity. But in the absence of activities body deteriorates rapidly.

    February 6, 2015 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • michaeljmcfadden

      Jai, according to the UK's recent "Million Women Study" women who quit smoking between the ages of 25 to 35 avoid 97% of the damage or risk that lifelong smoking incurs. Women who quit between 35 and 45 avoid 90% of the damage or risk. While you're correct about there being a long lag time for lung cancer, it would seem that most of the actual risk to one's life/health comes when one continues decades of smoking into their later middle and old age.

      – MJM, a reader 'n writer... not a doctor or lawyer

      June 9, 2016 at 06:42 | Report abuse |
  34. Mike

    Am a smoker, I smoke a pack per day, but my fear is that how many years does it takes a smoker to start hving the repercussion?

    February 22, 2015 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Gabi Slaughter

    My mom smokes cigarettes, but had a mini stroke, is it possible that she could pass in a few years, or no? I'm really worried, but she can't quit. Can she die? Or is she going to live awhle longer? After she got out of the hospital today, she smoked a cig. She won't die anytime soon, can she?

    February 26, 2015 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Paul

    I appreciate the information given in the answer by Dr. Brawley, and the statistics regarding frequency of smoking and lung cancer risk, however the question of how long it will take to develop lung cancer was not answered, i.e. to me at least the minimum amount of time between taking up smoking and developing lung cancer is the critical number.

    March 6, 2015 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. chaes danvenport

    this website was very very point less so u should stp it

    March 30, 2015 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Ross

    I quit smoking in 2006 after 40 plus years of smoking approx two packs a day. The reason: cancer of the larynx caused by smoking. Before I had a very pleasant baritone voice; now I speak with a rasp and my voice will rise for no apparent reason. It was hard to quit but I am thankful each day that I did. I will not stand on a bandstand but do encourage everyone who smokes to just stop. Thanks for reading. And good luck!

    April 23, 2015 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Wiz

    i have problem now
    in breathing because i smoke 5
    cigarette per a day what should i do

    May 16, 2015 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 98 days

      stop smoking

      May 21, 2015 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
  40. someone

    I am forced to put up with second hand smoke in all kinds of places on daily basis, and suffer from allergic reactions because of it, and the thing that I am more frustrated about is why does it take so damn long for smokers do die already of cancer?!!! I see old geezers constantly smoking like a chimney. If smoking is so dangerous, there should be a lot more smokers dying of cancer... but sadly, I do not see that happening. And so stupidity lives on...

    May 20, 2015 at 06:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 98 days

      Yea it does, as clearly evidenced by your post

      May 21, 2015 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
  41. 98 days

    Started smoking when I was 17, clove cigarettes. Found out how bad those were comparatively to regular cigarettes so switched. After about 8 years of quitting for weeks or a couple months and coming back, I'm now almost 100 days tobacco free. For all those quitting out there: It sucks. It basically stopped getting HARDER around 40 days in. To this day I'm still surfing the net reading about quitting to get my mind off of my urges. Remember to exercise every day, on average I'd spend about 4 minutes smoking a cigarette and multiply that by the 15 I'd have a day (on a non drinking day) and that's an hour that I now devote to going for a long walk or run, or doing something generally healthy. That keeps me going.
    Don't give up. Don't listen to the a holes who say "about time" or "oh, quitting again?". Be proud of yourself, keep at it and never give in. Although the mental aspect is still there, I no longer feel uncomfortable in my skin and have drastic mood swings. If you were addicted, you know what I'm talking about. Help someone who is trying to quit, that's another good way to stay quit.
    You want your voicebox ripped out? How about having to talk through a microphone? How about lugging around an air tank all day? Or losing a foot to poor circulation?
    1 is too many and 1000 is never enough.
    Good luck

    May 21, 2015 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Jo

    I smoked 6 months 6 cigrets per day but now ma chest have burning sensation n my neck have pain n i have digestion problem also
    so wot can i do..?

    July 9, 2015 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jo

    I smoked 6 months now ma neck,chest,stomach they have burning sensation... Wot can i do...??

    July 9, 2015 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dontbeanidiot

      Maybe see a doctor? What else would you expect people to tell you?

      January 11, 2016 at 22:55 | Report abuse |
  44. Sonia

    Iam sixteen years old and I have only been smoking for two years now . I chain smoke an entire pack. I've lately been having trouble breathing, tightness in the chest as well having my pulse rate be126 and have high blood pressure. Does your age matter or could this be actually happening because of tobacco use .and is it serious symptoms???

    July 27, 2015 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Viki

      I have been smoking since I was 16 I have just turned 24, I am about to have an ECG because my heart rate is too fast and I feel like I have someone crushing my chest, I can barely get up the stairs and developed acute asthma a few years ago. I see all my friends having babies and getting married, I am too ill to walk to town alone. So yeah I would stop now if you haven't already before it's too late. Death doesn't care what age you are.

      January 6, 2016 at 07:26 | Report abuse |
  45. Amit

    i smoked for 4 yrs continusly wth 6 to 7 sigaratte per a day.what can i do to stop smoking??

    August 14, 2015 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. jay snow

    This information is interesting. I smoked for 11 years from teens to late twenties. I picked up smoking again from age 49-54. I quit 6 months ago, and have recently started smoking those small cigars, about 3 to 4 a day.

    How dangerous is it for me if I quit again in the next 6 months?

    August 26, 2015 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Dr James Cathoway PHD.

    My opinion on smoking in general is that it is 100% your choice but if you are wondering why doctors encourage you it ps because of the amazing concequences that it has on just 3 a day smokers. 3 cigarettes a day for about a month or two can and probably will grt you addicted to cigarettes along with just straight tobacco. 3 a day can cause you to develope nicotine needs for the body. If you have chest pain or hedaches after smoking it is not the nicotine getting used to your system and it is not your body reacing to the nicotine. Even if you have only smoked for a couple months to a month, having only 3-6 a day, those signs are because your lungs cannot take the damage you are giving it. Coughing up bllood and lung pain can be and probably are signs of lung and esophagus cancer and i would encourage you to see a basic doctor then if it is serious to see a cancerologist or cancer specialist. This is why we encourage you not to smoke. The rush from nicotine might feel good to people to do it and people might use it to get rid of stress, but it is't worth 40 years possibly 50 years of your life. I strongly encourage you to not start and if you have at least make a cut down or quit becauss every day, people have over 14,000 heart attacks and over 19,000 peole die from cancer every day no matter what the diagnostic is. I hope you genually take my advice and if you have any questons about smoking then i will always be on here to answer you questions and hopefully save a life.

    November 4, 2015 at 04:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Louisa

    My best friends mum has been smoking daily for 20 years and she's 36 and my friend is worried that she will die soon what's the likely essential she will die in the next 10 years?

    December 16, 2015 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • michaeljmcfadden

      Very low. Higher than if she didn't smoke perhaps, but still very low. If you asked about the chances of her dying in her sixties or seventies instead of in her eighties or nineties, I'd say it would have a much stronger effect, but although the chances of health problems in one's 30s or 40s are percentage-wise higher for smokers, the absolute incidence is still fairly low and should not be something that her child should be worrying about.

      – MJM, a smoker, not a doctor, and a good deal older than 36...

      June 9, 2016 at 06:51 | Report abuse |
  49. HousingExpert

    To all those spouting off about lung cancer being caused by smokers, show me the annual radon results that they took the responsibility upon themselves to conduct every year.

    In fact, if you smoke, check your radon levels to be safe. If you don't smoke, stop automatically assuming that every single instance of lung cancer from a smoker was due to smoking. It's NOT proven. Radon causes lung cancer. If you're going to complain, show us your own Radon results that you properly tested and lets see if you're exposing your family to lung cancer risk because you're too lazy to test it annually.

    December 30, 2015 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dontbeanidiot

      Once again, forget about cancer. Smoking is guaranteed to cause health problems that will only get worse as you continue to smoke. Cancer may never develop. Smoking greatly increases the risk of cancer. It doesn't guarantee it. It will most definitely cause other problems. Some you may not even connect to smoking but there is a connection.

      January 11, 2016 at 23:04 | Report abuse |
  50. Smoking Old Man

    I am a 67 year old man who has smoked since age 12. Average 1 1/2 to 2 packs a day now and have for the last 55 years. I breathe just fine and have no health problems at all. All this crap about smoking being harmful is a crock of crap, instigated by pharmasutical companys who needed to market their stop smoking aids many years ago. Wise up and finally realize that people die of many causes. Smoking is not to blame for all of them.

    January 3, 2016 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dontbeanidiot

      You're in denial old man. I guarantee you're not healthy. Can you walk a mile without getting winded? I doubt you could walk half that without wheezing and coughing. The thing is that you are so used to being unhealthy that you think it's normal to feel like crap and be unable to overly exert yourself... probably because you think it's normal for a 67 year old to be feeble and unable to
      do much physically. Anyone who claims smoking isn't bad for you is truly ignorant and stupid.

      January 11, 2016 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.