Why smoke cigarettes

Smoking & Health

Tobacco smoke contains over 5,300 different substances, many of which are toxic and carcinogenic. When the smoke is inhaled, these toxins are absorbed through the lungs and distributed throughout the body. The result: almost every human organ is damaged by smoking. In 2018, around 127,000 people died as a result of smoking.

Tobacco use not only increases the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases or cancer. Oral health, for example, is also impaired by the toxic mixture in tobacco smoke. Women who smoke after menopause are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, and in men, smoking can reduce their potency.

The addictive substance nicotine released by smoking crosses the blood-brain barrier and interferes with metabolic processes in the brain. A physical dependence on smoking can develop within a short period of time. Psychological dependence arises from the often diverse functions that the cigarette takes on in the life of the smoker. In stressful situations, it serves as an occasion for a break or it facilitates contact with other people. And for many smokers, the cigarette structures the daily routine. If these functions of smoking are replaced by suitable alternatives in the context of quitting, the chances of success for quitting smoking increase considerably.

Quitting smoking creates the best conditions for a healthier life - quitting smoking clearly lowers the health risks mentioned.

German Cancer Research Center, Cancer Prevention Unit (2020) Own calculations with data from the microcensus, the cause of death statistics and the Surgeon General's report from 2014: The health consequences of smoking: 50 years of progress. A report of the Surgeon General