According to a new international study published today, each cigarette smoked a day by heavier smokers increases the risk of contracting some diseases by more than 30 percent.

The Australian Centre for Precision Health, based at the University of South Australia, led the study, which links heavier smoking* with 28 separate health conditions, revealing a 17-fold increase in emphysema, an 8-fold rise in atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and a 6.5-fold higher incidence of lung cancer.

The findings, published in EClinicalMedicine, analyzed hospital data and mortality statistics from more than 152,483 ever smokers in the UK Biobank to look at how heavier smoking affects disease risks.

Chief Investigator, UniSA Professor Elina Hypponen, says the risk of suffering respiratory diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular diseases increased with each cigarette smoked per day.

The links between heavier smoking and emphysema, heart disease, pneumonia, and respiratory cancers were unusually high. Still, the researchers also found associations with many other respiratory infections, renal failure, septicemia, eye disorders, and complications of surgery or medical procedures.