Yes. There are many reasons that people diagnosed with cancer should quit smoking.
For those having surgery or other treatments, quitting smoking helps improve the body’s ability to heal and respond to the cancer treatment, and it lowers the risk of pneumonia and respiratory failure.
Quitting smoking substantially reduces the risk of developing and dying from cancer, and this benefit increases the longer a person remains smoke free.
However, even after many years of not smoking, the risk of lung cancer in former smokers remains higher than in people who have never smoked.
The risk of premature death and the chance of developing cancer due to cigarettes depend on the number of years of smoking, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, the age at which smoking began, and the presence or absence of illness at the time of quitting.
Yes. Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Breathing even a little tobacco smoke can be harmful. Of the 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful. The toxic chemicals found in smoke include hydrogencyanide (used in chemical weapons), carbon monoxide (found in car exhaust), formaldehyde (used as an embalming fluid), ammonia (used in household cleaners), and toluene (found in paint thinners).
Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and diminishes a person’s overall health. Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and of death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.
Smoking also causes heart disease, stroke, lung disease (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), hip fractures, and cataracts. Smokers are at higher risk of developing pneumonia and other airway infections.
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you will ever do. You will live a longer, healthier life.
It will be time well spent with the people you love – your family and friends. Smoking is the most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.
If you smoke:
– avoid smoking around children, especially in the house or car;
– think about stopping smoking. For information on how to stop smoking, talk with your doctor, public health nurse, or the local lung association;
If someone else in your home smokes:
– ask them not to smoke near other members of the family;
– suggest they smoke outside the house, but not in the car;