Benefits of Quitting

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2016

Stopping tobacco use after a cancer diagnosis offers many physical and mental benefits, including:

  • Longer life

  • A better chance of successful treatment

  • Fewer and less serious side effects from cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy

  • Faster recovery from treatment

  • Less risk of secondary cancers

  • Lower risk of infection

  • Easier breathing

  • More energy

  • Better quality of life

Continuing to use tobacco after a cancer diagnosis presents these risks:

  • Shorter life

  • Lower chance of successful treatment

  • More problems from surgery, such as slower wound healing, infection, scarring, and more time in the hospital

  • More side effects from chemotherapy, such as infection, fatigue, heart and lung problems, and weight loss

  • Additional side effects from radiation therapy, such as dry mouth, mouth sores, loss of taste, and scarring after treatment, which can affect how you breathe, how your bowels and urinary tract work, and how your skin looks

  • Increased risk of the cancer coming back after treatment

  • Increased risk of other serious illnesses, such as heart and lung diseases, or a second cancer

  • Poor quality of life

More Information

Talking With Your Doctor About Your Tobacco Use

How to Quit Smoking and Using Tobacco