Improved non-smoking protection could prevent up to 30 percent of cancer deaths

Improved non-smoking protection could prevent up to 30 percent of cancer deaths

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Hundreds of thousands of cancer deaths can be avoided through effective non-smoking protection
Smoking causes massive health problems and kills millions of people worldwide every year. Passive smoking also poses considerable risks and is held responsible for numerous deaths each year. Overall, effective non-smoking protection could prevent 30 percent of all cancer deaths, according to the current report by the Medical University of Vienna (MedUni Vienna).

According to MedUni Vienna, lung cancer is responsible for around 1.6 million deaths worldwide each year. Around 70 percent of those affected worldwide are smokers or ex-smokers. In Central Europe, the proportion is even more than 80 percent. According to this, smoking can be rated as a central risk factor for this disease. Other diseases are also linked to tobacco use. On the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day on May 31, doctors therefore call for increased protection of non-smokers and increased efforts in the area of ​​smoking prevention.

100 million deaths from smoking
For oncologist Robert Pirker from the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) at MedUni Vienna and AKH Vienna, non-smoking protection and prevention are key points in the fight against lung cancer. Smoking poses a gigantic problem for our society, which must be counteracted, continues the cancer expert Pirker. The oncologist gives the figures from the available statistics as an illustration. The statistics provide clear arguments. "In the last century, diseases caused by smoking caused more than 100 million deaths" and that are "more victims than all wars in the same period have claimed together," said Pirker in the press release from MedUni Vienna. If there is no significant change in global smoking behavior, according to the expert, there will be more than a billion deaths from smoking this century.

Stop smoking at any age
Pirker recommends that all smokers stop using tobacco, even if they are a little older. International studies have shown that stopping smoking makes great sense at any age. In the “United Kingdom Million Women Study” it became clear that smoking women were 25 times more likely to have cancer than non-smokers. Even if they did not stop until the age of 50, this risk was reduced six-fold compared to non-smokers, reports MedUni Vienna. However, it is clear that even with ever better diagnostic methods and therapies available, it will still be better "not to start smoking at all or to stop it as soon as possible," said cancer expert Pirker

Strict legal requirements required
Referring to the information provided by the “” initiative (by experts from the Austrian Society for Hematology & Medical Oncology; OeGHO), MedUni Vienna reports that “Austria is at the bottom in Europe in terms of tobacco control and non-smoking protection”. According to the cancer expert Pirker, "there is a lack of political will and the willingness of the population to consistently establish measures." The establishment of smoke-free zones in pubs or warnings on cigarette packs are only a first step in the right direction. A general ban on smoking in restaurants, as is the rule in Germany, for example, is necessary. In addition, the prices for tobacco products would have to be increased significantly and public awareness of the health and economic disadvantages caused by smoking was required. In addition, the protection of minors must be improved by law, the expert demands. (fp)

Author and source information

Video: Lung Cancer Prevention Video - Brigham and Womens Hospital (August 2022).