1. Does tobacco smoke contain harmful chemicals?

Yes. Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Breathing even a little tobacco smoke can be harmful (13).

Of the more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, including hydrogen cyanidecarbon monoxide, and ammonia (14).

Among the 250 known harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 69 can cause cancer. These cancer-causing chemicals include the following (14):

Other toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke are suspected to cause cancer, including the following (3):

 

10.  Does quitting smoking lower the risk of cancer?

Yes. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of developing and dying from cancer. However, it takes a number of years after quitting for the risk of cancer to start to decline. This benefit increases the longer a person remains smoke free (2).

The risk of premature death and the chance of developing cancer from smoking cigarettes depend on many factors, including the number of years a person smokes, the number of cigarettes he or she smokes per day, the age at which he or she began smoking, and whether or not he or she was already ill at the time of quitting. For people who have already developed cancer, quitting smoking reduces the risk of developing a second cancer (2022).

 

11.  Should someone already diagnosed with cancer bother to quit smoking?

Yes. There are many reasons that people diagnosed with cancer should quit smoking. For those having surgery, chemotherapy, or other treatments, quitting smoking helps improve the body’s ability to heal and respond to therapy (220). It also lowers the risk of pneumonia and respiratory failure (220). Moreover, quitting smoking may lower the risk of the cancer returning or a second cancer developing (2022).

 

Read All Points 1-12 at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/cessation

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