Benefits of Quitting

There are many physical and psychological benefits to stopping tobacco use after a cancer diagnosis, including:

  • Longer survival
  • A better chance of successful treatment
  • Fewer and less serious side effects from all types of cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy
  • Faster recovery from treatment
  • Decreased risk of secondary cancers
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Easier breathing
  • More energy
  • Better quality of life

On the other hand, continuing to use tobacco has the following risks:

  • Shorter survival
  • Less of a chance of successful, effective treatment
  • More complications from surgery, such as side effects involving the heart and lungs, and a slower recovery
  • More treatment-related side effects from chemotherapy, such as infection, fatigue, heart and lung problems, and weight loss
  • Additional side effects from radiation therapy, including dry mouth, mouth sores, loss of taste, and problems with your bones and soft tissues
  • Increased chance of recurrence (when the cancer comes back after treatment)
  • Increased risk of other serious illnesses, such as heart and lung diseases or a second cancer

More Information

Tobacco Use During Cancer Treatment

Health Risks of Waterpipes, Smokeless Tobacco, and E-cigarettes

ASCO Expert Corner: Stopping Tobacco Use After a Cancer Diagnosis