I think the number of deaths related to smoking is skewed because virtually every natural death of a smoker becomes "smoking related." It's as if all smokers who have died would still be alive if only they didn't smoke.
That said, there is too much evidence that smoking is a major contributor of health problems and premature death to contend that smoking is safe.
Life is lethal. Smoking likely brings the end sooner for many who partake in it.