The Dirty Truth About Smoking

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
No Smoking Illustration

There are many reasons not to smoke. Smoking stinks—literally! It makes breath, hair and clothes smell like smoke. It's expensive. It dulls your sense of taste and smell. It raises blood pressure and causes shortness of breath. Some smokers can't stop coughing.

And it kills. Each year, about half a million Americans die from smoking-related illnesses. Cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug. Nicotine is also a poison! Arsenic, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, tar and carbon monoxide are some of the other poisons found in cigarettes. No wonder smoking is linked to heart disease and cancer.

Check the encyclopedia for more about the dangers of smoking

Up in Smoke

What did anti-smoking activists Wayne McLaren and David McLean have in common? They were former “Marlboro Men,” the rugged cowboys in ads that helped make Marlboro the world's best-selling cigarette. Both died of lung cancer in the 1990s.

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