Cigarettes lead to deaths and illnesses

When you were younger, you thought those who smoked looked cool. You remember seeing ads in the newspaper and magazines. No one realized the hazards smoking posed, and if they did, they didn't talk about them.

If you smoke today, you probably know now that there is a risk of developing cancer or other related illnesses. Smoking cigarettes results in the deaths of 443,000 people on average every year in the United States alone. That's more people dying from cigarette smoke than those who use illegal drugs, are victims of murders, die in car accidents, use alcohol, commit suicides and die from AIDS put together.

In the past, there weren't warnings to let people know about the dangers of smoking; some claim this is because the businesses didn't want to pay the price for hiding their knowledge. Today, there are warnings. Smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease. It can lead to fetal injuries and premature birth if women smoke while pregnant.

The sad thing about cigarette-related injuries is that they're usually preventable. If you avoid cigarettes, the chances of developing things like mouth cancer, lung cancer or emphysema drop dramatically.

Broken down, 129,000 people die on average every year as a result of lung cancer brought on by smoking. Others struggle with cancers of the kidneys, pancreas, cervix or bladder. Some suffer from lung disease or cancer of the mouth or esophagus. Another 90,000 people, on average, die from chronic obstructive bronchitis, which makes it harder to breathe over time. Even victims of secondhand smoke sometimes suffer from this condition.

If you've been hurt by cigarettes, you could have a case. Smoking is bad for you, but if you didn't know, someone should be held accountable.

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