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Tobacco Use And Cancer, An estimated 45 million adults are current smokers

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Tobacco & Cancer

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Tobacco & Cancer


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Tobacco Use And Cancer

  • Tobacco use, the most preventable cause of death in our society, accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths.

  • An estimated 45 million adults are current smokers in the United States.

  • About half of those who continue to smoke will die prematurely from smoking.

  • The best way to avoid getting cancer is to not start using tobacco or to quit using it.

Tobacco & Cancer


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Strength Of Evidence

  • Strong evidence over the years has found a clear cause-and-effect relationship between the use of tobacco and several types of cancer.

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Cancers Affected

  • Tobacco use is the primary risk factor for lung cancer.

  • Tobacco use is also associated withcancer in other parts of thebody, including:

  • Cervix

  • Mouth

  • Pharynx

  • Larynx

  • Esophagus

  • Pancreas

  • Kidney

  • Bladder

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Risk Factors

  • Smoking

    • Nearly 87% of all lung cancers are caused by smoking.

    • Smokers are 15 times more likely to die of lung cancer than people who have never smoked.

  • Secondhand Smoke

    Each year, secondhand smoke causes:

    • About 3,000 lung cancer deaths

    • 35,000 heart disease deaths

    • Respiratory illness and asthma attacks

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Risk Factors

  • Cigars

    • Many of the same carcinogens found in cigarettes are also found in cigars. Cancers caused by cigar smoking include:

      – Lung

      – Oral cavity

      – Larynx

      – Esophagus

      – Pancreas (possibly)

  • Snuff

    • Oral cancer occurs several times more frequently among users than non-users.

    • Long-term snuff users may have nearly a 50-fold greater risk of cheek and gum cancers.

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Reducing Your Risk

  • Quitting or not using tobacco substantially decreases the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

  • If all adults stopped tobacco use and children did not start, at least 30% of all cancer deaths would be prevented.

  • People who quit, regardless of age, live longer than people who continue to smoke.

  • Smokers who quit before the age of 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half.

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How To Quit Tobacco Use

  • The most effective strategies for quitting tobacco use involve multiple approaches:

    • Behavioral therapy

    • Nicotine replacement therapy (gum, skin patches, inhaler, or spray)

    • Non-nicotine prescription medication

    • Group therapy

    • Advice from a doctor or other health care provider

    • Combination of therapies

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Youths And Tobacco Use

  • The prevention of tobacco use among children and youth is equally important, since over 90% of smokers begin to smoke before age 18.

  • If children and youth can be prevented from starting, a substantial portion of tobacco-related health problems can be solved.

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Hope For The Future

  • Researchers are looking at the role of genetics in tobacco-related cancers and tobacco dependence.

  • Studies are being conducted to determine how cancer risk can be reducedfor smokers who cannotstop.

  • Scientists are studying the potential for detecting lungcancer at its earliest, and most curable, stages.

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Hope For The Future

  • Implementing policies that establish smoke-free environments is the most effective approach to prevent exposure and harm from secondhand smoke.

  • Presently in the US, more than 2,650 municipalities have passed smoke-free legislation and 28 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have implemented or enacted statewide smoking bans.

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The Bottom Line

  • Stopping tobacco use, or not starting, is the single most important action that can be taken to reduce cancer in the United States.

  • If all adults stopped tobacco use and children did not start:

    • Nearly one-third of all cancer deaths would be prevented.

    • Billions of dollars would be saved.

    • Millions of family members and friends would avoid the sickness and premature death of a loved one.

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Contact The American Cancer Society

  • American Cancer Society programs and services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • To reach us:

    • Visit the American Cancer Society web site at www.cancer.org.

    • Call toll-free, 1–800–ACS–2345.

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Additional Resources

National Cancer InstituteCancer Information Service Telephone: 1–800–4–CANCER (toll free)Internet: www.nci.nih.gov

Alliance for Lung Cancer Advocacy, Support & Education (ALCASE)Telephone: 1–800–298–2436 (toll free) or 360–699–1944Internet: www.alcase.org

American Lung AssociationTelephone: 1–800–586–4872 (toll free) or 212–315–8700Internet: www.lungusa.org

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Additional Resources

  • American Heart AssociationTelephone: 1–800–AHA-USA1 (toll free)Internet: www.americanheart.org

  • Campaign for Tobacco-Free KidsTelephone: 202–296–5469Internet: www.tobaccofreekids.org

  • Center for Tobacco CessationTelephone: 1-202-585-3200

Tobacco & Cancer


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