Apart from lung cancer, smoking can cause a whole array of other varieties of the disease, from pancreatic cancer to leukemia.
New research sheds light on just how deadly tobacco can be when smokers get cancer. According to new research in JAMA Internal Medicine, smoking causes more than 48% of deaths from the 12 types of cancer in adults over the age of 35.
More than 80% of lung cancer deaths as well as 77% of larynx cancer deaths, esophagus, kidney and liver cancer are also caused by smoking.
Data from 2011, analyzed interviews conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the study. Each year approximately 168,000 people are estimated to die of cancer due to smoking in the United States.
Researchers found that DNA damage from smoking can be detected in cheek swabs. The study provided evidence that smoking causes a mutation found in cancers that are usually not associated with the habit, such as breast and gynecological cancers.
Rebecca L. Siegel, a researcher with the American Cancer Society and an author of the paper, noted that smoking prevalence went down from 23.2% in 2000 to 18.1% in 2012.
"Although we've had 50 years of reductions in smoking prevalence, still, 170,000 cancer deaths were caused by smoking in 2011," she said.
Though the prevalence of smoking has been on the decline in recent decades but argue that more needs to be done. "Continued progress in reducing cancer mortality, as well as deaths from many other serious diseases, will require more comprehensive tobacco control, including targeted cessation support," they conclude.