Cigarette smoke contains 69 known carcinogens and it increases risks for most forms of cancer, particularly of the lung, kidney, larynx, head, neck, bladder, esophagus, pancreas and stomach. Smoking also increases blood pressure and risk of heart disease as well as decreases good HDL cholesterol. The result is that nearly 160,000 men and women in the U.S. die from cardiovascular disease attributed to smoking every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
"There's also the financial costs," Gibbons notes. "If you figure a pack a day at about $4 a pack, that's nearly $30 a week and some $1,500 a year, not to mention the financial costs associated with the medical problems of smoking."