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Smoking in Cancer Care (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 06/27/2014

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Smoking and Cancer Risk



Smoking increases the risk of cancer.

Smoking is the leading cause of cancer in the United States. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. If you smoke, your risk of cancer can be up to 10 times higher than it is for a person who never smoked.

Smoking increases cancer risk by:

Your risk depends on how much and how long you have smoked.

Lung cancer and other types of cancers are linked to tobacco use.

Cancer risks linked to tobacco use include the following:

  • Lung cancer and head and neck cancers are linked to tobacco use.
  • People who started smoking before age 30 and have been smoking for a long time have a high risk of colorectal cancer.
  • In smokers diagnosed with cancer, the cancer is more likely to have already spread.

See the following for more information: