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Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 02:29 GMT
Smoking linked to clutch of cancers
A cancer warning has been issued on No Smoking Day
Anti-smoking campaigners are urging people to quit the habit by reminding them smoking is linked to 14 different types of cancer, causing about 70,000 deaths every year.

On National No Smoking Day on Wednesday, they are warning it is not just lung cancer which is smoking-related.

It comes as a report reveals thousands of people will either die or suffer a severe disability this year following a stroke linked to smoking.

Research shows smoking accounts for one in seven new cases of cancer and only 5% of patients survive more than five years after diagnosis.

We need to continue to educate smokers on the damage that tobacco smoke inflicts on their bodies in so many ways

Professor David Phillips, cancer expert
Other cancers linked to smoking include pancreatic, renal, bladder, mouth, stomach, liver and cervical.

Smoking is also linked to at least eight other serious medical conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, emphysema and cataracts.

It can also lead to reduced fertility and lower infant birth weight.

Tens of thousands of women in the UK are infected every year with the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus (HPV) and scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) suggests women with HPV who smoke are more likely to develop a precursor of cervical cancer.

Professor David Phillips from the ICR said: "Our message is stark and simple.

"We need to continue to educate smokers on the damage that tobacco smoke inflicts on their bodies in so many ways.

"Some people may not be aware that tobacco smoke which can be inhaled by non-smokers actually contains higher concentrations of identified carcinogens than the smoke inhaled directly by smokers.

"Women should know that research suggests smoking is an even greater health risk for them than it is for male smokers."


Researchers have identified more than 3,500 different chemicals in the particles of tobacco smoke.

At least 43 of these have been shown to be carcinogens capable of causing cancer.

National No Smoking Day is also being used to highlight the link between smoking and severe disability caused by strokes.

Eoin Redahan, of The Stroke Association said: "Stroke is the largest single cause of death and severe disability in this country.

"Because each stroke is different, recovery from a stroke can vary.

"Most people don't think about the risks of stroke from smoking but it is a big problem.

"This should be a good incentive for people to try to quit smoking."

Woman smoker
Women more at risk than men
A survey published to coincide with No Smoking Day revealed that 83% of smokers said they would not smoke if they had their time again.

Clive Bates, Director of campaigning group Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), said: "When you strip away all the waffle and hype about smoking, most smokers know what they are dealing with and want out.

"Tobacco companies still go on about freedom of choice, but where's the freedom when so many people are miserable, disgusted or fearful about smoking?

"It's an addiction, and people are driven to smoke even if they are sick of it.

"Let's hope No Smoking Day is the day when thousands of smokers do actually exercise their free choice, and toss away the fags for good."


The British Medical Association urged the government to use No Smoking Day to take action to ban all tobacco advertising.

It said the efforts of health professionals in helping smokers to quit are being undermined by the government's failure to ban advertising for tobacco products.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, BMA head of science and ethics, said: "While the tobacco companies are allowed to use advertising to lull smokers into a false sense of security, the best efforts of doctors are being undermined.

"Ultimately, it is smokers who will pay the heaviest price for government inaction."

A new website has been launched to mark National No Smoking Day,, is designed to give help and support to people who want to kick the habit.

See also:

08 Mar 00 | Health
Lung cancer shame exposed
08 Feb 00 | Health
'Treat nicotine as a hard drug'
10 Nov 99 | Health
Tobacco cash to go to NHS
10 Dec 99 | Health
100m to stamp out smoking
16 Feb 00 | Health
Cigar smokers 'risk lung cancer'
17 Jun 99 | Health
UK stubs out tobacco ads
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