People who quit smoking, whatever their age, can increase the number of years they live compared with those who continue to smoke.
- Smoking tobacco can cause many different types of cancers, because chemicals in cigarette smoke enter your blood stream and can then affect your whole body.
- You should quit tobacco use before cancer treatment or surgery. Please see below for more information.
The tobacco in cigarettes (smoking) contains nicotine, which is what makes it so addictive.
Most smokers die about 10 years earlier than someone who has never smoked.
People who start smoking during adolescence are more likely to become regular and heavier smokers.
If you are a smoker, vaping is a less harmful option than smoking.
People who are regularly around others who smoke are exposed to “environmental tobacco smoke” (second hand smoke). Second-hand smoke can cause cancer in the people and pets who are exposed.
When smokers have surgery they have a greater risk of surgical complications than non-smokers. If you smoke:
- it takes longer for your wounds to heal;
- your surgical wounds are more likely to get infected;
- you have a higher chance of lung and chest infection after surgery; and
- you will probably need to stay in hospital longer.
If you quit before surgery, you reduce your risks of complications. The best results are if you quit eight weeks before, but less than that is still a big help!
Stopping before your surgery could be the first step to quitting for life!
There is much evidence showing that if you smoke around the time of your cancer diagnosis and treatment, there may be less success with your treatment.
- Chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatment may not be as effective
- Your hospital stay may be longer
- If you have surgery, you are at higher risk of complications, and you may take more time to heal
Quitting smoking can:
**For information on BC Cancer's Smoking Cessation Program
, please visit the program webpage