Cigarette smoking: cancer risks, carcinogens, and mechanisms

Abstract

Background

Cigarette smoking causes about 30% of all cancer mortality in developed countries. Although smoking is decreasing in developed countries, it is increasing in some developing countries.

Discussion

Cigarette smoke contains over 60 well established carcinogens. There are strong links between some of these carcinogens and various types of smoking-induced cancers. Mechanisms by which cigarette smoke carcinogens cause cancer are well established and are discussed here.

Conclusions

A great deal is known about cigarette smoke carcinogens and the mechanisms by which they cause cancer. It is hoped that this will provide new insights for the prevention and cure of tobacco-induced cancer.

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Acknowledgements

The author’s research on cigarette smoking and cancer is supported by grants CA-81301, CA-92025, CA-102502, DA-13333, and ES-11297 from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and RP-00-138 from the American Cancer Society.

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Correspondence to Stephen S. Hecht.

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Hecht, S.S. Cigarette smoking: cancer risks, carcinogens, and mechanisms. Langenbecks Arch Surg 391, 603–613 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00423-006-0111-z

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Keywords

  • Carcinogens
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Tobacco
  • Carcinogenesis mechanisms
  • DNA adducts