In addition to lung cancer, cancers of the tongue, cheek, pharynx, and esophagus are also heavily associated with tobacco use. There are certain diseases that are only seen in smokers. Emphysema is almost always associated with smoking. This condition reduces lung elasticity and gradually destroys the air sacs leading to shortness of breath. Damage from emphysema cannot be reversed but treatment can slow the progression.
There are also a huge number of illnesses made worse by smoking. Smokers often experience chronic bronchitis, cough and shortness of breath and are at higher risk of respiratory infection. Smoking can reactivate tuberculosis in those with a history of TB infection. For those who do not smoke, environmental tobacco (second-hand smoke) can lead to respiratory conditions and other diseases including lung cancer. Children growing up with smokers are at higher risk for developing asthma and tend to miss more school due to illness.