People who smoke are more likely to have health problems related to arsenic, because tobacco smoke contains arsenic, and because smoking makes it harder for your body to get rid of arsenic before it damages your cells.
Is Arsenic More of a Problem for Smokers?
Yes. Studies show that for someone who smokes and is exposed to arsenic, there is an even greater risk of arsenic-related health outcomes, such as heart disease.
People who smoke are more likely to have health problems related to arsenic because:
- Tobacco contains arsenic so the cigarette/cigar/cigarillo/hookah smoke you inhale does too.
- Smoking makes it harder for your body to get rid of arsenic before it damages your cells.
- Arsenic exposure and smoking can increase your risk of lung, kidney and bladder cancer, and heart disease.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- If you are ready to stop smoking, check out the resources at SmokeFree.gov.
- If you’re a smoker and you’re worried about arsenic-related health effects, follow the What You Can Do action steps to reduce your total arsenic exposure.
- Order a water test if you have a private well.
- Learn if you might be exposed to arsenic in food or other sources.
“The effects of arsenic exposure are much more significant for smokers. Smokers who are exposed to higher levels of arsenic from food and water sources are far more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases than either non-smokers or smokers who are exposed to lower levels. Tobacco smoke itself contains arsenic that is inhaled with each puff. The easiest way to eliminate this source is to quit smoking and other tobacco use completely.”Dr. Susanne Tanski, Dartmouth College