Smoking causes 85% of all lung cancers. If you don't smoke or use tobacco products, don't start. If you do smoke, even occasionally, the health benefits of quitting will begin as soon as five minutes after you put down your last cigarette. Your health will continue to improve over time.
If you live with a smoker or you are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke, you are more likely to develop lung cancer. Even limited exposure to secondhand smoke can raise your heart disease risk.
Other Nicotine Products
Cigars, pipes and hookahs are not safe alternatives to smoking. In fact, hookah users may inhale more smoke than cigarette smokers, because hookah sessions often last an hour or more.
Smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco and snuff can cause mouth and throat cancers. Snuff may increase your risk for cancers of the mouth, esophagus, stomach and pancreas.
E-cigarettes are smokeless devices that vaporize a solution of nicotine, flavoring and other chemicals. E-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to smoking. Their ingredients are unregulated, and there is no evidence they are effective as a smoking cessation tool. While they do not contain tobacco, the nicotine they contain is highly addictive and harmful.