Everyone knows tobacco use isn’t healthy. What many people may not fully understand is the wide-ranging impact tobacco use has in causing cancer and other diseases. While quitting or reducing smoking is difficult, the health benefits are substantial. One year after quitting smoking, the risk of a smoking-related heart attack is reduced by half. Ten years after quitting, the risk of dying from lung cancer is almost halved. Live smoke-free to reduce your cancer risk (PDF). CancerCare Manitoba has collected the following data in an effort to raise awareness about the effects of tobacco use and encourage quitting or reduction.*
While the most common form of tobacco is cigarettes, smoking cigars/cigarillos or using pipes, hookah and smokeless (non-combustible) tobacco such as chewing tobacco, snuff and snus also causes cancer.
Here are some facts about the different methods of tobacco use:
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or vapes, are devices that use liquid “juice” – with or without flavours and nicotine – to produce a vapour rather than smoke.
E-cigarettes haven’t been approved as a smoking-cessation method and the risks and benefits of their use aren’t known because of a lack of long-term studies conducted by non-industry researchers. There is evidence of potentially hazardous chemicals and particles of metals in the liquid.
Many provinces regulate the sale of e-cigarettes and where vaping can take place in public places.
The Canadian government tabled a bill in November 2016 that would regulate the manufacturing, sale, labelling and promotion of e-cigarettes and vaping products under the Tobacco Act.
Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke is a known cause of several cancers and other health problems such as heart disease and stroke.
Third-hand smoke consists of residual nicotine and chemicals found on surfaces long after exposure to tobacco smoke, and is resistant to normal cleaning. Exposure to third-hand smoke may increase the risk of tobacco-related health problems, but the extent of its dangers is unknown because it’s a relatively new area of research.
While marijuana usually doesn’t contain tobacco, the smoke from marijuana does have many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke.
Though there is limited research linking smoking marijuana to cancer and other health risks, some studies suggest that long-term marijuana use increases the risk of cancer, particularly lung, head and neck.
It’s easy for people to say smoking is bad for you. It’s harder to actually quit. CancerCare Manitoba wants to give smokers, particularly cancer patients, the support and medication they need to stop smoking through the Quit Smoking program. This free, personalized program is available for CCMB staff, patients and their family members.
Evidence shows that quitting will improve your health, and your body’s response to treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy or surgery.
The impact from quitting includes:
Participants will learn strategies to identify their triggers for smoking and how they can manage cravings.
Through the use of a smoking and craving journal, participants will monitor their tobacco use by keeping a cravings diary. They’ll record when they have a cigarette and under what circumstances so they can track their smoking habits.
Appointments are also made to monitor carbon monoxide levels in the body.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you or your family members would like to join, or call CancerCare Manitoba’s quit team at 204-787-8770 or toll free at 1-888-775-9899.