Smoking: The Main Cause of Lungs Cancer
November 19, 2018 | Sidra Wafa

Smoking: The Main Cause of Lungs Cancer

Tobacco smoking, the most established cause of lung carcinogenesis. The World Health Organization estimates that lung cancer deaths worldwide will continue to rise, largely as a result of an increase in global tobacco use, especially in Asia.

Tobacco use is the principal risk factor for lung cancer, and a large proportion of all pulmonary carcinomas are attributable to the effects of cigarette smoking. There are approximately 1.1 billion smokers worldwide, and if the current trends continue, that number would increase to 1.9 billion by 2025. 

How smoking leads us to cancer is by damaging our DNA, including some key genes that give us protection against the cancer. Those who have healthy lungs are more able to handle the toxic chemicals than the ones who are usual smokers.

The chemicals in cigarette smoke make it harder to remove toxins and the immune system becomes less effective as well.

Risk of lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes you smoke each day (smoking 1–4 cigarettes) and the number of years you have smoked.

ü non-smokers:  0.07 lung cancer deaths/year/1000

ü 1-14 cig/day:   0.78 lung cancer deaths/year/1000

ü 14-24 cig/day:  1.27 lung cancer deaths/year/1000

ü > 24 cig/day:   2.51 lung cancer deaths/year/1000

The average male smoker had an approximately 9-fold to 10-fold risk for lung cancer, whereas heavy smokers had at least a 20-fold risk.

Even if you don't smoke, your risk of lung cancer increases if you're exposed to secondhand smoke at least 17% of lung cancers in nonsmokers are attributable to exposure to high levels of Environmental Tobacco Smoke during childhood and adolescence.

You can lower the risk of lung cancer by quitting smoking at any stage.

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