16 smoking-related cancers we can do without for World No Tobacco Day

Queensland smokers are being urged to quit, with new research linking smoking to 16 different types of cancers including pancreatic, kidney, bowel, cervical and ovarian cancers.

Cancer Council has issued the call ahead of World No Tobacco Day this Sunday (May 31).

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said many Queenslanders were aware of the link between smoking and lung cancer, but did not know it was a risk factor for many other cancers.

“Lung cancer was the first major disease to be linked to cigarette smoking, but there is now sufficient evidence linking 16 different types of cancer to the habit,” Ms Clift said.

“Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals – when a person inhales cigarette smoke, the chemicals enter the lungs and spread throughout the body, increasing the risk of cancer.

“Since the 1950s and 1960s, the list of cancers linked to smoking has grown.

“We now know that smoking causes 84 per cent of lung cancers, 73 per cent of laryngeal cancers, 43 per cent of bladder cancers and 28 per cent of kidney cancers in Australian men.

“Cigarette smoking also causes 77 per cent of lung cancers, 66 per cent of laryngeal cancers, 36 per cent of bladder cancers and 21 per cent of kidney cancers in Australian women.

“It’s imperative that we raise awareness of the risks of this harmful habit, and do everything we can to support current smokers to quit the habit for good.”

Cancer Council Queensland has also asked the State Government to urgently introduce smoke free public places to protect the community from the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke.

“Non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke are also at an increased risk of tobacco-related illness and disease,” Ms Clift said.

“This includes children who might be exposed to second-hand smoke without any control over their environment.

“We know that the majority of Queenslanders support smoke free spaces and want protection from the lethal effects of smoking.

“Smoke free spaces at bus stops, taxi ranks, ferry terminals, pedestrian malls and education campuses would also encourage existing smokers to quit, reducing their risk of cancer.

“Community support for smoke free spaces is higher than ever, with majority non-smokers and 14 per cent of the adult population smoking daily.”

Smokers are urged to call the Quitline on 13 QUIT (13 7848) for help with quitting.

Smoking is linked to 16 cancers including mouth, nasal, pharyngeal, laryngeal, lung, oesophageal, leukaemia, liver, stomach, pancreatic, kidney, ureteral, bowel, bladder, ovarian and cervical cancer.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland

P. (07) 3634 5372 or M. 0409 001 171