9Be Smoke Free
Lung cancer kills more women and men in the U.S. than any other cancer — 28% of all cancer deaths, or about 160,000 people every year. The vast majority of those deaths are due to smoking.
And that’s just lung cancer. Smoking has also been linked to more than a dozen other cancers and accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths overall.
That’s why many doctors will tell you that the biggest anti-cancer step you can take is to stop smoking, or never start. But even if you’re having trouble quitting entirely, you can reduce your cancer risk significantly by just cutting back.
A study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010 found that smokers who cut back from about 20 cigarettes per day to less than 10 per day reduced their lung cancer risk by 27%. It’s a good first step, but don’t stop there; quit completely for your health’s sake.
Even if you’re a nonsmoker, don’t assume smoke isn’t permeating your life. About 3,000 cases of lung cancer each year occur as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke, and there are strong indicators that other cancers may be linked to secondhand smoke as well.