Almost 10% of Cancer Survivors Still Smoke: Study

83% of those who keep puffing away smoke an average 15 cigarettes daily

By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 6, 2014 9:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's been well documented how smoking wreaks havoc on your body, with tobacco use upping the risk for a variety of cancers—lung, bladder, esophagus, larynx, pancreas, and more—and causing almost one in five deaths in the US and 30% of all cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. Yet a new study finds that nearly one in 10 people who've beaten cancer continue to light up—either because their addiction is too strong or perhaps because they don't know enough about treatment plans that could help them quit, researchers theorize.

Almost 3,000 cancer survivors who had made it nine years past their original diagnosis were surveyed for the study, published today in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The heaviest smoking rates were found in people who had cancers "strongly linked to smoking," USA Today reports: While the smoking rate among cancer survivors overall was 9.3%—still half that of the general population—people who had fought bladder and lung cancer still puffed away at the more alarming rates of 17.2% and 14.9%, respectively. And those survivors who do smoke go big, with 83% of them plowing through an average of 15 cigarettes daily—and 10% saying they're not going to quit. (Thanks in part to smoking, cancer cases are expected to jump 50% by 2030.)

In this Feb. 7, 2011, file photo, a man smokes a Marlboro cigarette in Hialeah, Fla.
In this Feb. 7, 2011, file photo, a man smokes a Marlboro cigarette in Hialeah, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)
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