But the best way to reduce your risk is to stop smoking completely. Whereas those who smoke or used to smoke, and also drank alcohol were around 3 times more likely to develop cancer than those who did neither. Lung cancer mortality in relation to age, duration of smoking, and daily cigarette consumption: results from Cancer Prevention Study II.
Alcohol may make it easier for harmful chemicals from tobacco smoke to pass through the mouth and throat into the blood stream.
The more cigarettes you smoke a day, the higher your risk of cancer, so reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke a day can be a good first step. For example, a chemical, benzo(a)pyrene causes damage specifically at a part of the DNA that normally protects our cells from cancer.
Research has shown that for every 15 cigarettes smoked, there is a DNA change which could cause a cell in the body to become cancerous. A review found that people who only drank alcohol increased their risk by a third compared to non-drinkers.
Smoking causes significant changes in your lungs and airways.
Some changes are sudden, lasting just a short time. Other, more chronic changes happen slowly and can last a lifetime — like emphysema.This decreases the number of air spaces and blood vessels in the lungs, resulting in less oxygen to critical parts of your body.The lungs are lined in broom-like hairs called cilia, which clean the lungs.Here are some of the changes that happen in your lungs and airways when you smoke.When you smoke, the cells that produce mucus in your lungs and airways grow in size and number.Smoking also reduces the number of cilia in your lungs, leaving fewer to properly clean the organ.Cigarette smoking can be very damaging to your circulation system.When you smoke, you have a much greater chance of developing health problems.For help to quit smoking, call the UPMC Referral Service at 1-800-533-UPMC (8762).In other words, smoking causes your skin to age faster, by 10-20 years.Facial wrinkling is likely to occur around your eyes and mouth.