Cigarettes cause more than just lung cancer according to new research conducted by members of the American Cancer Society. The study found that roughly 50% of all deaths from 12-smoking-related cancers are caused by cigarette smoking. This is the first time that there has been a hard connection made between multiple cancers and cigarette smoking. Previously, there have been hard comparisons made to cancers like lung cancer, but few made to broader cancers that span outside the lung cancer space.
Lead author Rebecca Siegel said of the research that, “The bottom line is that while we’ve made a lot of progress against the tobacco epidemic in the United States, there’s still much work to do.” She went on to point out that, “While smoking prevalence continues to slowly decline, the use of alternative tobacco products is on the rise,” which raises additional concerns beyond cigarette smoking.
For smokers, the link to lung cancer has always existed. That being said though, it continues to have the largest connection to smoking. For men, the study found that 83% of lung cancer deaths are due to cigarette smoking, whereas 76% of women who have lung cancer die due to cigarette smoking. Siegel went on to point out that, “Although we can’t know exactly how many people are not starting to smoke cigarettes because they are using other tobacco products, e-cigarettes are now the most common form of tobacco use among high school students.”
When it came to cancer of the larnyx that was the one that had the biggest portion of deaths related to cigarette smoking. For men, cigarette smoking was linked to 93% of all deaths. On the other hand, women accounted for 72% of deaths due to cigarette smoking. In all though, the exact figure sat at 48.5% of all deaths in the 12 cancers which were looked at were attributed to cigarette smoking.
The study pointed out that, “Continued progress in reducing cancer mortality, as well as deaths from many other serious diseases, will require more comprehensive tobacco control.” In all, they cited for the need to more tightly regulate and warn about the risks of cigarette smoking. The truth is that cigarette smoking reaches far beyond the simple lung cancer diagnosis, which is typically thought of when it comes to smoking cigarettes.
Elyse Park, who was the lead author of the study pointed out that, Smokers face physical, environmental and social barriers to quitting.” She went on to point out that, “Primary care providers can assist smokers, particularly smokers with a heavy smoking history, to boost their confidence and obtain the counseling and medication support that can help them improve their odds of successful quitting.”
The long-term impacts of this study are going to be powerful, given how many people still smoke here in the United States. That being said though, cigarette smoking is something that has started losing popularity. Many though, are now accustomed to how big a role cigarette smoke plays in cancer survival.