Smoking and Cancer
Stopping smoking is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of cancer. Smoking accounts for more than 1 in 4 UK cancer deaths and more than 4 in 5 cases of lung cancer. Lung cancer survival is one of the lowest of all cancers, and is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK. Smoking causes at least 14 types of cancer as well as heart disease and various lung diseases. The good news is that many of these deaths are preventable, by giving up smoking. Speak to your GP or pharmacist, or visit the Healthy Peterborough smoking pages for information on local support to give you the best possible chance of quitting.
Many of the chemicals found in cigarettes have been shown to cause DNA damage with further chemicals interfering with the body’s ability to repair this damage. Research has shown that for every 15 cigarettes smoked there is a DNA change which could cause a cell to become cancerous. This is why it’s better to give up smoking sooner rather than later.
There are real benefits to stopping:
- You will save money - the average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which works out as 364 cigarettes a month. That's £1,696 a year that you could be saving by not smoking! Try the NHS cost calculator to work out how much you could save if you give up smoking.
- Your breathing and general fitness will improve.
- The appearance of your skin and teeth will improve.
- Your fertility levels will improve, along with your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Find out how quickly your body responds when you give up smoking.
There’s no such thing as a safe way to use tobacco. Filters and low-tar cigarettes make little difference – your lung cancer risk is not lower compared to smokers of average cigarettes. This may be because smokers tend to change the way they smoke in order to satisfy their nicotine craving, for example by taking bigger puffs or smoking more cigarettes.
The serious damaging effects of smoking cannot be cancelled out by leading an otherwise healthy lifestyle, like keeping fit and eating healthily. The best way for smokers to reduce their risk of cancer, and improve their overall health, is to stop smoking completely. How you chose to quit is up to you but prescription medication and support from a specialist at your local stop smoking service gives you the best possible chance of stopping successfully.