- Tobacco use is a leading cause of cancer and of death from cancer. People who use tobacco products or who are regularly around environmental tobacco smoke (also called secondhand smoke) have an increased risk of cancer because tobacco products and secondhand smoke have many chemicals that damage DNA.
- Tobacco use causes many types of cancer. People who use smokeless (snuff, vapor or chewing tobacco) have increased risks of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, and pancreas.
- There is no safe level of tobacco use. People who use any type of tobacco product are strongly urged to quit.
- People who quit smoking, regardless of their age, have substantial gains in life expectancy compared with those who continue to smoke. Also, quitting smoking at the time of a cancer diagnosis reduces the risk of death.
Despite an increased risk for chronic health conditions and premature death, many cancer survivors continue to smoke and use tobacco products after their diagnosis. Young survivors (those younger than age 40) may be at particular risk for smoking.
Tobacco Free Resources
This list of evidence-based intervention and programs is aimed at helping cancer survivors quit smoking, cease use of tobacco products and become tobacco free.
Free apps to help you quit smoking and stop using tobacco include the following:
QuitStart takes the information you provide about your smoking history and gives you tailored tips, inspiration, and challenges to help you become smokefree and live a healthier life.
QuitStart is a product of Smokefree Teen—a smoking cessation resource for teens that can also be used by adults. It was created by the Tobacco Control Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and input from tobacco control professionals, smoking cessation experts, and ex-smokers.
Available for free download on:
QuitGuide is a free smartphone app that can help you track your cravings and moods, monitor your progress toward achieving smokefree milestones.
QuitGuide is a product of Smokefree.gov—a smoking cessation resource created by the Tobacco Control Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute in collaboration with tobacco control professionals and smoking cessation experts and with input from ex-smokers.
Available for free download on:
Last Updated 5.6.2015
Karam‐Hage, M., Cinciripini, P. M., & Gritz, E. R. (2014). Tobacco use and cessation for cancer survivors: an overview for clinicians. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 64(4), 272-290.
Lee Westmaas, J., Berg, C. J., Alcaraz, K. I., & Stein, K. (2015). Health behavior theory constructs and smoking and cessation‐related behavior among survivors of ten cancers nine years after diagnosis: A report from the American Cancer Society’s Study of Cancer Survivors‐I. Psycho‐Oncology,24(10), 1286-1294.
Warren, G. W., Marshall, J. R., Cummings, K. M., Toll, B. A., Gritz, E. R., Hutson, A., … & Dresler, C. A. (2013). Addressing tobacco use in patients with cancer: a survey of American Society of Clinical Oncology members.Journal of Oncology Practice, 9(5), 258-262.
Berg, C. J., Carpenter, M. J., Jardin, B., & Ostroff, J. S. (2013). Harm reduction and cessation efforts and interest in cessation resources among survivors of smoking-related cancers. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 7(1), 44-54.