Scientists recently linked 5 diseases and health condition that hadn’t previously been associated to smoking to this unfortunate habit. While the fact that cigarette smoking is linked to lung disease, cancer, artery disease, heart attack or stroke is scientifically supported, some scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine have proved that smoking is also related to increased risks of infection, kidney disease, intestinal disease caused by inadequate blood flow as well as heart and lung illnesses that had not been previously attributed to tobacco.

Scientists studied almost 1 million people and followed them for 10 years in oder to get the most accurate results. And their findings regarding the actual cigarette-related deaths are baffling. Officially it appears that smoking kills around 480,000 people each year in the U.S. But according to Dr. Eric Jacobs, who was a co-author of the study, smoking could actually be killing around 60,000 extra Americans every year (13 % more out of the 480,000 deaths currently attributed to the addictive habit every year).

If these recent findings were applied to the world wide scale, an extra 780,000 across the world could be dying because of smoking each year.

The number of additional deaths potentially linked to cigarette smoking is substantial.

“In our study, many excess deaths among smokers were from disease categories that are not currently established as caused by smoking, and we believe there is strong evidence that many of these deaths may have been caused by smoking,”

Dr. Eric Jacobs said.

An editorial accompanying the study, written by Dr. Graham Golditz, stated that low-income people tend to underestimate the dangers of tobacco use and need more help in order to quit. They have no idea that smoking is worse than previously thought.

By and large the research found that smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to die from one of the established smoking-related diseases, such as: most kinds of heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke,  pneumonia, tuberculosis, influenza, atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysms and other arterial diseases, acute myeloid leukaemia, diabetes, cancers of the lung, colon and rectum, pancreas, kidney, liver, bladder, lip, oral cavity, stomach, larynx and esophagus.

All the above diseases were responsible for deaths among men and women who were still smoking at the end of their lives. Only 17% of deaths female smokers’ deaths and 15% of male smokers’ deaths were traced to other causes than the ones mentioned above.