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Researchers prove smoking less reduces cancer risks
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2018.03.13 12:46
  • Updated 2018.03.13 12:46
  • comments 0

Researchers at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital (SNUBH) have proved that cutting down on smoking reduces the risk of all cancers.

Professor Lee Ki-heon

The research team, led by Professor Lee Ki-heon of the department of family medicine at the hospital, analyzed the change in smoking habits on 143,071 men, who had annual health examinations in 2002 to 2003 and 2004 to 2005.

The team divided the men into five categories heavy (more than 20 cigarettes per day), moderate (10 to 19 cigarettes per day), light (less than 10 cigarettes per day), quitters and those who have never smoked. The participants were then followed up from 2006 to 2013 for all cancers.

In the test, moderate smokers, who smoked an average of 10 to 19 cigarettes a day, reduced smoking to less than 10 per day, and found the risk of lung cancer drop by 45 percent, compared to heavy smokers who smoked more than 20 cigarettes. Also, the risk of other cancer related to smoking, including esophagus cancer and colon cancer, decreased by 26 percent, and the risk of all cancer fell 18 percent.

“Until now, there was a lack of cancer research on Asian patients as the research on the correlation between the smoking amount and cancer occurrence had been mostly done on Western people,” Professor Lee said. “The research studied average Koreans who went through health examinations, and has great implications because it is highly representative with a big data of more than 140,000 patients.”

The research team noted that while smoking cessation should be the treatment of choice for smokers, the smoking reduction may serve as an alternative strategy for those who cannot quit.


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