Smoking is linked to 17 different types of cancers in
addition to lung cancers, and in 2017, it is estimated that
it will cause about 190,500 cancer deaths (see Figure 5,
p. 27) ( 37, 38). Even individuals who smoke fewer than
one cigarette per day over their lifetime have higher risk
of death than nonsmokers and cessation at any age can
reduce the risk of cancer occurrence and cancer-related
death ( 34, 39). Therefore, one of the most effective ways
a person can lower his or her risk of developing cancer,
as well as other smoking-related conditions such as
cardiovascular, metabolic, and lung diseases, is to avoid
or eliminate tobacco use.
Since the relationship between tobacco use and cancer was
first brought to the public’s attention in 1964, development
and implementation of major public education and policy
initiatives have significantly lowered cigarette smoking
rates among U.S. adults. In fact, it is estimated that from
2000 to 2015, total cigarette consumption decreased by over
38 percent ( 41). During the same period, use of several
tobacco products among high school students also declined
sharply: In 1999, more than 40 percent of high school
students reported being current users of cigarettes, cigars,
or smokeless tobacco compared with just 18 percent in
2015 ( 42).
Risky Business Figure 4
OCCUPATIONALEXPOSURES ULTRAVIOLETLIGHT/IONIZING RADIATIONEXPOSURE OBESITY/OVERWEIGHT PHYSICALINACTIVITY ALCOHOL ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANTS PATHOGENS DIET REPRODUCTIVEFACTORS PRESCRIPTIONDRUGS R
CANCER RISK FACTORS
Research has identified numerous factors that
increase an individual’s risk for developing cancer.
By modifying behavior, individuals can eliminate
or reduce many of these risks and thereby reduce
their risk of cancer. Developing and implementing
additional public education and policy initiatives
could help further reduce the burden of cancers
related to preventable cancer risk factors.
Figure adapted from ( 33)
people every year die as a result
of tobacco use ( 36).