Effects of smoking on an individual's health

Smoking cigarettes has the potential to cause immediate and long-term physiological damage: compromising quality of life and life expectancy. The overall health effects of smoking cigarettes can lead to a wide range of poor bodily functions, immunodeficiency, and death. See health effects below.

Adult Individuals1

Health effects of smoke exposure

Men and  Women

  • Cancers such as lung, mouth, throat
  • Cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Compromised bone, teeth and gum health
  • Increased risk for cataracts and macular degeneration
  • Type II diabetes risk increases up to 40%
  • Increased inflammation and decreased immune function


  • Becoming pregnant may be more difficult
  • Can affect child’s health before and after birth
  • Risk increases for preterm delivery
  • Low birth weight or still birth


  • Sperm count can be poorly affected
  • Reduction in fertility
  • Increase of birth defect risk


Secondhand smoke: Since 1964, when the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking was released, over 2.5 million non-smokers have died due to secondhand smoke exposure2.

For smoke exposure to children: See smoking effects on populations

The financial cost for someone who smokes a half pack (10 cigarettes) per day at $10/pack has spent $27,375 over a 15 year period ($150/mo. and $1,825/yr.) 3.


  1. Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking
  2. 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking, 2014.
  3. Cost of smoking calculator.