, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 5-10
Date: 02 Feb 2012

An Update About Tobacco and Cancer: What Clinicians Should Know

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Anyone concerned about cancer should know that enemy number one is tobacco use, which accounts for an estimated 30% of all cancers [1]. Yet, because so many smokers are unable to quit, and because cancer specialists generally see patients when the damage from smoking has already occurred, there may be a tendency to view smoking as a “done deal” for which little can be accomplished. This brief review updates information on smoking, the remarkable progress that has occurred regarding smoking prevalence and cessation, and the challenges we face if we are to reduce the huge disease burden from tobacco use.

What We Do Know

A large body of information has accumulated about the harms of tobacco use (especially smoking), the epidemiology of smoking, and policies to reduce smoking.

Tobacco and Illness

Despite recent declines in smoking prevalence, tobacco use still kills about 450,000 people annually in the United States, and 5 million worldwide [2]. Of those deaths in the U.S., about 50,000 are at ...

This article is based on a lecture entitled “Accelerating Progress in Tobacco Control: Strategies for Success”