Why It’s Never Too Late to Quit Smoking

March 14, 2017
Greg Guthrie, ASCO staff

Tomorrow is Kick Butts Day, a day for youth to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking and to encourage other youth not to use tobacco. Although teaching people—young and old and in between—to never use tobacco is important, it’s also critical to note that it’s never too late to quit, even for those who have cancer. “After a cancer diagnosis,” says Anthony Alberg, PhD, MPH, in this podcast, “quitting smoking is one of the most important steps that you can take to prolong your life.”

Many people don’t know that stopping tobacco use can improve a person’s chances of having cancer treatment succeed. Other people sometimes believe that it is too late to quit, feeling that the damage has already been done to their bodies and there is no benefit to quitting. This is not true. Quitting can have immediate benefits. share on twitter 

In this podcast, Dr. Alberg notes that quitting smoking is not easy and yet it is something that all people who have been diagnosed with cancer should strive to do because of the health benefits. “It is better to have tried and to have failed than never to have tried at all,” he says, “and that is definitely true when it comes to quitting smoking.” He answers questions that many people have about quitting tobacco.

  • Isn’t it too late to quit smoking after a cancer diagnosis? [1:25]

  • What are the immediate benefits of quitting smoking? [2:08]

  • What are the long-term benefits of quitting smoking? [3:59]

  • Why some people feel it’s too late to quit smoking or the hurdles are too high. [5:47]

  • How can my health care team help me with quitting smoking? [8:58]

Dr. Alberg is a Professor of Public Health Sciences and an Associate Director of the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.

This is a prerecorded audio podcast. It can be listened to online or downloaded to your computer. A transcript of this podcast is also available. For more information, visit the Cancer.Net podcast page.