Breast Cancer

  • Young women who smoke – as well as those who are routinely exposed to second-hand smoke – face a significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life, according to a new study.
  • Individual women have, on average, a one-in-seven chance of developing breast cancer. If they smoke, they will increase that risk to one-in-four or one-in-five.
  • The risk is about the same for passive smoke, particularly for a girl growing up in a house where there is a smoker.
  • Smoking increases the risk of breast cancer in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women by 50 to 70 per cent.
  • Exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women by 60 to 70 per cent.
  • The more a woman smokes and the longer she smokes (or is exposed to tobacco smoke), the more her risk of breast cancer increases.
  • Girls who smoke or are exposed to tobacco smoke during puberty, when their breast tissue is growing, seem to be at increased risk of developing cancer prior to menopause, which tends to be more deadly.

Lung cancer

  • Lung cancer is the most common cancer cause of death in both men and women, and most lung cancers are caused by smoking tobacco.
  • The risk of lung cancer increases the more you smoke and the longer you smoke. However, there is little known about how much, or for how long, one needs to smoke in order to increase one’s risk of lung cancer.
  • The risk of lung cancer in pipe and cigar smokers is approximately double that of non-smokers

Cigarette smoke damages the lungs in two ways:

Cigarette smoke inhibits and damages the normal cleaning process by which the lungs get rid of foreign and harmful particles.

Smoke destroys an important cleansing layer in the lungs, which in turn causes a build-up of mucus. The result is “smokers’ cough,” an alternative method that the lungs take in attempting to clean themselves.

The harmful cancer-producing particles in cigarette smoke are able to remain lodged in the mucus and develop into cancer tumors.

Lung cancer will continue as the leading cause of cancer death among Canadians

The risk of lung cancer increases sharply the more you smoke and the longer you smoke.