Significant Cancer Risk Reduction Observed After 10 Years of Quitting Smoking


A recent study published in JAMA Network Open has revealed that individuals who quit smoking and sustain this behavior for at least 10 years experience a reduced risk of developing cancer. The research, conducted by Eunjung Park, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Center Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy in Goyang, South Korea, analyzed data from a retrospective cohort study involving 2,974,820 adults aged 30 years and above.

During an average follow-up period of 13.4 years, the researchers recorded 196,829 cases of cancer. The results indicated that those who completely quit smoking had a lower risk of developing cancer compared to individuals who continued smoking. The hazard ratios for all cancer sites were 0.83, while for lung, liver, stomach, and colorectum cancers, the hazard ratios were 0.58, 0.73, 0.86, and 0.80, respectively.

Interestingly, the study also found that individuals who quit smoking saw a slight increase in cancer risk during the first 10 years after cessation compared to individuals who continued smoking. However, the risk progressively decreased over time. After 15 years or more, the risk of developing cancer reached 50% of that associated with continued smoking.

Furthermore, the analysis revealed that the risk of lung cancer decreased three years earlier than that of other cancer types, with a more significant reduction observed. In terms of age, individuals who quit smoking before the age of 50 exhibited a greater reduction in lung cancer risk compared to those who quit at 50 years of age or older (hazard ratios of 0.43 and 0.61, respectively).

The authors of this study highlight the importance of promoting smoking cessation and providing adequate support and resources to ensure its sustainability. Encouraging individuals to quit smoking at an early age can significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer.

Smoking is a well-known risk factor for various types of cancer, including lung, liver, stomach, and colorectal cancers. This study adds to the existing body of evidence emphasizing the benefits of quitting smoking in terms of reducing cancer risk.

The findings of this study provide further motivation for tobacco control efforts and public health campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the detrimental effects of smoking and the importance of smoking cessation. Governments, healthcare professionals, and organizations dedicated to public health need to collaborate to implement effective strategies to support and encourage individuals to quit smoking. Additionally, there is a need for improved access to smoking cessation resources and interventions to help individuals successfully quit and maintain their cessation in the long term.

In conclusion, this study highlights the long-term benefits of quitting smoking in reducing the risk of cancer. With sustained smoking cessation, the risk of developing cancer decreases over time. Efforts should be made to promote smoking cessation and provide the necessary support and resources to individuals, especially those at a younger age, to achieve and maintain a smoke-free lifestyle.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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