Smoking is a major risk factor for disease. When coupled with asbestos exposure, smoking can greatly increase the risk of developing asbestos lung cancer. It is not a risk factor for mesothelioma.
Smoking weakens the lungs, contributing to the negative health effects of asbestos exposure. Smoking alone can cause lung cancer. Asbestos exposure alone can also cause lung cancer. Taken together, asbestos and smoking multiply the risk of lung cancer significantly (a “synergistic” effect). Studies in the science of epidemiology confirm that the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure creates a risk of cancer much higher than just adding the risks together.
Not smoking is an important aspect of preventing disease. Evidence suggests that asbestos-exposed workers who quit smoking can reduce their risk of developing lung cancer by as much as 50% within five years of quitting (National Cancer Institute, Asbestos Fact Sheet). It is never too late to quit smoking. If you are a smoker, see the effects of nicotine addiction and Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking for more details.
When paired with asbestos exposure, smoking can increase the risk of lung diseases. If you were exposed to asbestos and developed adverse health effects, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Contact us today to learn more.