Prevent lung cancer: It is never too late to stop smoking!

Murry W. Wynes, PhD
IASLC Special Projects Manager

Rob Mansheim
IASLC Director of Communications
(720) 325-2952


Prevent lung cancer: It is never too late to stop smoking!

DENVER – November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization solely dedicated to the study of lung cancer and is committed to conquer thoracic malignancies worldwide. Lung cancer is a devastating disease with 1.6 million people diagnosed globally (US 225,000) each year which results in 1.4 million deaths (US 160,000). Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women throughout the world.

Cigarette smoking is the cause of 80-90% of all lung cancer deaths. Worldwide, it is estimated that 5 million people will die this year from smoking cigarettes. While other forms of tobacco convey health risks to users, cigarettes are by far the most dangerous and addictive of all tobacco products. Every puff on a cigarette exposes the users to more than 6000 chemical constituents and 60 known carcinogens. Because of nicotine addiction, smokers repeatedly expose themselves to these harmful chemicals day in and day out, which is what eventually results in diseases such as lung cancer. “The most effective way to prevent lung cancer is to not start smoking tobacco products of any kind,” says Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, and Chief Executive Officer of IASLC. If someone does smoke they should quit immediately. There are resources available worldwide to help smokers to stop, so don’t be bashful or afraid to seek out help. Most people who smoke are addicted to nicotine and would benefit from using approved smoking cessation medications and receiving counseling to help support their quit attempt. Approved stop smoking medications include: nicotine replacement therapies in the form of patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, and nasal spray; varenicline (Chantix®in the US, Champix® outside the US) and bupropion (Zyban®). As of today, electronic cigarettes are not an approved stop smoking medication. Quitline resources are available in many countries throughout the world and a link can be found at

Graham Warren, MD, PhD, a radiation oncologist at the Medical University of South Carolina and contributor to the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, explains that “smoking is also harmful to those who already have cancer.” Dr. Warren noted that the recent Surgeon General’s Report concluded that “in patients with cancer and survivors, the evidence was sufficient to conclude a causal relationship between cigarette smoking and adverse health outcomes and that quitting smoking improves the prognosis.” According to Dr. Warren, “the damaging effects of smoking are also noted across many cancer disease sites, not just those cancers directly caused by smoking because the chemical in tobacco smoke interferes with recovery from surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other targeted cancer therapies.” Several studies have demonstrated that smoking cessation following a cancer diagnosis can reverse the adverse effects of tobacco on cancer treatment outcomes. Thus, the sooner one stops smoking the better off they will be.

For more information on Lung Cancer Awareness and IASLC please visit us at



About the IASLC:

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association’s membership includes more than 4,000 lung cancer specialists in 80 countries. To learn more about IASLC please visit

November 20, 2014