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NIDA. (2014, November 20). Cigarettes: More Dangerous Than Before. Retrieved from

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The NIDA Blog Team
November 20 2014
Image of a cigarette
Images courtesy of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Is there anyone that doesn’t know how dangerous smoking cigarettes can be? It’s hard to imagine with so much public education from The Truth Campaign, The Real Cost, and Tips From Former Smokers.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that cigarettes have actually become more dangerous.

A recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General—the Nation’s “top doctor”—relates that cigarettes are more toxic now than in the 1950s because tobacco companies have changed the design and ingredients of cigarettes. As a result, both men and women have a much higher risk for lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD, a serious lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe) from smoking today than did smokers 50 years ago.

The good news is that fewer people are smoking. But tobacco is a business and business must grow! (Right?) By making cigarettes more addictive and less harsh to smoke, tobacco companies are able to increase the number of cigarettes smoked by those that do smoke. 

Want to learn more? Take our quiz on why cigarette smoking is dangerous.