Nearly a quarter of cancer deaths could be avoided if no one smoked, report finds
Thursday, 27 May 2021
In the run-up to World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, the Cancer Foundation is drawing attention to the proportion of cancers caused by smoking.
Almost one in four cancer deaths is linked to tobacco consumption, the Foundation said, basing the figures on a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to the Foundation, tobacco is the cause of eight out of 10 cases of lung cancer.
It is the third most common type, along with breast and colon cancer in women and prostate and colon cancer in men.
Lung cancer is more common in men, but an increasing number of women – who the Foundation says are more susceptible to smoking – are affected. If they smoke, they are more likely to contract the disease.
Although lung cancer is the most common type of cancer, smoking is also an aggravating factor for at least 20 other types of the disease.
Smoking increases the risk of developing oral, liver, pancreatic and breast cancer, among others.
In all, according to the WHO study, 27% of cancers and 25% of cancer deaths in Europe are caused by smoking.
In Belgium, according to the 2019 tobacco survey, smokers represent 23% of the population.