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Can smoking cause cancer?

ANSWER

Smoking is far and away the leading cause of lung cancer, even for nonsmokers who get it from secondhand smoke. Just a few cigarettes a day -- or low levels of secondhand smoke -- can hurt your lungs.

SOURCES:

NIH, National Cancer Institute: “Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting,” “Secondhand Smoke and Cancer.”

Mayo Clinic: “Lung Cancer.”

Cancer Research UK: “How Smoking Causes Cancer.”

American Lung Association: “Lung Cancer Fact Sheet.”

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “How Does Cigarette Smoke Cause Lung Cancer?”

CDC: “What Are the Risk Factors for Lung Cancer?” “Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Cigarettes, Cigars and Vaping: Which Habit Puts You Most at Risk?”

KidsHealth: “E-Cigarettes.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “E-Cigarette Vapors, Flavorings, Trigger Lung Cell Stress.”

American Cancer Society: “Small Cell Lung Cancer Risk Factors.”

HelpGuide.org: “How to Quit Smoking.”

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on July 11, 2017

SOURCES:

NIH, National Cancer Institute: “Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting,” “Secondhand Smoke and Cancer.”

Mayo Clinic: “Lung Cancer.”

Cancer Research UK: “How Smoking Causes Cancer.”

American Lung Association: “Lung Cancer Fact Sheet.”

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “How Does Cigarette Smoke Cause Lung Cancer?”

CDC: “What Are the Risk Factors for Lung Cancer?” “Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Cigarettes, Cigars and Vaping: Which Habit Puts You Most at Risk?”

KidsHealth: “E-Cigarettes.”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “E-Cigarette Vapors, Flavorings, Trigger Lung Cell Stress.”

American Cancer Society: “Small Cell Lung Cancer Risk Factors.”

HelpGuide.org: “How to Quit Smoking.”

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on July 11, 2017

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Are low-tar or filtered cigarettes better for you than regular ones?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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