'Amazingly, Smoking Is Even Worse Than We Knew'

Causes diabetes, erectile dysfunction, and more, surgeon general's report finds

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 17, 2014 7:12 AM CST | Updated Jan 19, 2014 7:14 AM CST

(Newser) – Yes, smoking is bad for you, but just how bad might still surprise you. A surgeon general's report out Friday reports that lighting up is scientifically proven to cause diabetes, colorectal and liver cancers, erectile dysfunction, and ectopic pregnancy, the New York Times reports. And more: vision loss, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, impaired immune function, and, in the children of women who smoke, cleft palates. Smoking does not cause all cases of the aforementioned diseases, notes Dr. Boris D. Lushniak's report, but a portion of the cases only occurred because of smoking. The development comes 50 years after a landmark 1964 report first found smoking caused lung cancer; 30 more reports have followed on the topic in advance of the latest.

The report also notes that exposure to secondhand smoke causes strokes, reports USA Today. America's annual death toll from smoking is 480,000 (that's 37,000 more than prior estimates), per the report, which includes this standout fact: More Americans have died prematurely from smoking than died in all the wars our country has fought. "Amazingly, smoking is even worse than we knew," says the director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Even after 50 years, we're still finding new ways that smoking maims and kills people." As for the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes, that answer is likely still years off, the Los Angeles Times notes.

This Sept. 14, 2005 file photo shows packs of cigarettes in a store in Brunswick, Maine.
This Sept. 14, 2005 file photo shows packs of cigarettes in a store in Brunswick, Maine.   (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach, File)
New smoking report out today.
New smoking report out today.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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