Quiz: How Do You Know About Smoking Complications?

The hazards of smoking go far beyond lung cancer and heart disease. In fact, it would take microscopic print to list every potential warning on cigarette packages. Take this short quiz to see how much you know about the dangers of smoking.

1. Smoking raises the risk of many types of cancer. Which of these cancers has been linked to smoking?

a. Cervical cancer

b. Bladder cancer

c. Pancreatic cancer

d. Breast cancer

e. Cancer of the esophagus

f. None of the above

g. All of the above

2. Smoking can hamper the sexual function of both men and women.

True

False

3. Smoking causes stomach ulcers.

True

False

4. Heavy smokers are especially vulnerable to which of the following mood disorders?

a. Depression

b. Anxiety

c. Panic disorder

d. Agoraphobia

e. All of the above

5. Which of these gynecological disorders is especially common among women who smoke?

a. Infertility

b. Early menopause

c. Pelvic inflammatory disease

d. All of the above

6. Smoking is the primary cause of emphysema, a degenerative lung disease. What is the most important step in treating this disease?

a. Avoid exposure to airborne irritants

b. Take the medicine your doctor prescribes

c. Stop smoking

d. Participate in oxygen therapy if necessary

Answers

1. Smoking dramatically raises the risk of many types of cancer. Which of these cancers has been linked to smoking?

The correct answer is: G. All of the above

Cervical, bladder, pancreatic cancers and cancer of the esophagus are all strongly tied to cigarette smoking, as is lung cancer. There is not currently a strong cause-and-effect relationship between breast cancer and smoking, but the evidence appears to be accumulating. A 2009 report from a panel of U.S. and Canadian scientists suggests that smoking increases the risk of breast cancer and that young women face special risks from exposure to smoke, even second-hand smoke. The report cited several newer studies that suggest women who start smoking when they are young increase their risk of breast cancer by 20 percent and that many years of heavy smoking could increase the risk by up to 30 percent.

Whenever a person puffs on a cigarette, potent cancer-causing compounds spread throughout the body. Besides lung cancer, studies have linked cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, cervix, kidney, and bladder, according to the National Cancer Institute.

2. Smoking can hamper the sexual function of both men and women.

The correct answer is: True

Smoking can damage arteries, including the arteries that feed the penis and the clitoris. As a result, male smokers may have trouble achieving erections, and female smokers may lose sexual enjoyment. In a survey by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, couples who smoked reported having sex 5.7 times each month -- half as often as nonsmoking couples. In short, smoking is no way to light up a love life.

3. Smoking causes stomach ulcers.

The correct answer is: False

Ulcers are caused by bacterial infections or aspirin-like medications, not cigarettes. However, smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop ulcers, partly because smoking breaks down the stomach's natural defenses. Smokers also get more than their share of heartburn and dyspepsia.

4. Heavy smokers are especially vulnerable to which of the following mood disorders?

The correct answer is: e. All of the above

There's no truth to the belief that smoking helps "calm the mind." Nobody knows why heavy smokers are so prone to mental distress. One theory is that smoking damages blood vessels in the brain. The link between smoking and mood disorders seems to be especially strong for young smokers.

5. Which of these gynecological disorders is especially common among women who smoke?

The correct answer is: d. All of the above

Women have countless reasons to shun smoking, but the proportion of women who smoke has remained stubbornly high. In the words of former Surgeon General David Satcher, "smoking-related diseases among women are a full-blown epidemic."

6. Smoking is the primary cause of emphysema, a degenerative lung disease. What is the most important step in treating this disease?

The correct answer is: c. Stop smoking

Using the medicines your doctor has prescribed, participating in oxygen therapy, and avoiding airborne contaminants are all important, but according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the most important step in treating the disease is to stop smoking.

References

Tengs, T.O. and N.D. Osgood. The link between smoking and impotence: Two decades of evidence. Preventive Medicine..32:447-452.

American Lung Association. Facts about lung cancer.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Smoking and your digestive system.

Women and Smoking, A Report of the Surgeon General. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/sgr/sgr_forwomen/ataglance.htm

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