Ever since the announcement of the Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service in 1964, we’ve known that smoking is bad for us. And yet we keep doing it. But some actually did manage to take heed, and actually quit smoking altogether. As it turns out, they’re not out of the woods yet, as cancer rates still high if you quit smoking over 15 years ago.
- According to the CDC, there are more former smokers than current smokers today
- Stopping smoking drastically reduces the chances of a wide variety of health issues
- Seven out of every ten smokers reports wanting to quit the unhealthy habit
- Tobacco smoke contains over 7000 chemicals, with hundreds being harmful and 70 causing cancer
- Nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, and alcohol
In one of the most surprising studies in recent history, a team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Centre have discovered that the risk of lung cancer is still very high for smokers that quit for over 15 years.
According to the US Preventive Services Task Force, adults with ages from 55 to 80 that have smoked at least a pack a day for 30 years and are still smoking, or those with the same habits that have quit within 15 years should get periodic screenings for lung cancer.
However, surprisingly, according to the study performed by the Mayo Clinic team led by Ping Yang, the highest at-risk group of developing lung cancer consists of those that quit smoking 15 to 30 years prior.
This means that not only does the group not qualify for the recommended screenings, but they are the most at risk from all former smoker categories.
This stands against previous studies and even common sense, as the longer you quit smoking, the healthier you should get.
Now, the team’s findings may be wrong, or there might be another factor at play.
Since the study was both observational and a meta-analysis, there might actually be a different explanation for why the people whose data the team used had a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
But since no study procedures or fully formed conclusions were published yet, but only the statistics and the idea behind the study, there is no way to tell the research’s accuracy for certain.