Smoking and Cancer

This information is useful for children, adults, and older adults
man sitting on a bench worried about the connection between smoking and cancer

It’s never too late to quit smoking, even if smoking has been a big part of your life. Within hours, days, and weeks of quitting, your health will improve. Heart rate and blood pressure, which are elevated in smokers, will begin to return to normal levels. By remaining smoke-free for several years, you can lower your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, chronic pulmonary disease (COPD), and cancer.

Oncologists strongly encourage those just diagnosed with cancer to quit using tobacco products as well. That’s because stopping smoking makes cancer treatments more effective, lessens treatment complications, and decreases the chances of cancer returning—or a secondary cancer from forming. These benefits still occur, even if the cancer was not caused by smoking.

Yale Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, is committed to compassionate, leading-edge care for cancer patients. Our Tobacco Treatment Service is here to help smokers quit. It is designed to give you the support you need to successfully stop smoking. 

“The single most important step smokers diagnosed with cancer can take to improve their health and cancer prognosis is to stop smoking. And we can help patients do just that with our two-pronged approach, which includes counseling and medication,” explains Margaret Antenucci, APRN, a psychiatric nurse practitioner and clinician who provides tobacco treatment through Yale Cancer Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.