Smoking Causes Over Half of Cancer Related Deaths in People Over Age 35
It’s no secret that smoking is dangerous and there are numerous studies linking tobacco use to cancer. However, the latest research paints an even scarier picture of just how dangerous lighting up can be, especially if you are over age 35. According to the American Cancer Society, around half of cancer related deaths in people age 35 were related to smoking.
Co-author Rebecca Siegel explained just how deadly smoking can be. “Despite large declines in smoking in the United States over the last 50 years, smoking still accounts for the majority of lung cancer deaths.”
In this latest study, scientists looked at 12 types of cancer related to smoking. When they took a look at each individual case, they learned that half were current and former smokers. Nearly half of cancer-related deaths were in the lungs, bronchus, and trachea areas. Out of all of the cancer cases related to respiratory systems, 80 percent were directly related to patients smoking.
Oral cancers were also heavily tied to tobacco use with almost half or oral cancer linked to former and current cigarette use. Other common cancers were in the urinary tract, kidney, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, or blood stream.
The latest data shows that American smoking trends have dropped from 23 percent to 18 percent in the last twenty years. However, smoking-related deaths are expected to continue climbing as former smokers age. Siegel said that it sometimes takes 30 to 40 years to see health consequences from smoking.
“If we could reduce smoking, we would have a lot fewer cancers,” Siegel explained. She went on to point out that risks seem to elevate among those who are living in poverty. “The poor are twice as likely to be smokers as the non-poor.”
Most Americans only associate smoking with lung cancer, but risks for other cancers are just as scary. “This study shows that there is a huge burden of other cancers caused by smoking in addition to lung cancer,” said Dr. Norman Edelman of the American Lung Association. “Smoking is even more deadly that thought. It is the most deadly element in our environment that we can control – at least in theory.”
The good news is that as technology advances so do the alternatives available to smokers. Many smokers choose to switch to vaping because it is tobacco-free. Was health a major motivation for you to give up tobacco?