Smoking and Asbestos Exposure Contribute to Cancer Risk
Smoking is known to cause long-term health problems like cancers of the throat and lungs. In the U.S., over 16 million people live with diseases caused by smoking and cigarette smoke. Combined with asbestos exposure, smoking can greatly increase your cancer risk.
Asbestos exposure causes approximately 255,000 deaths worldwide each year. Tobacco causes over 7 million.
Following exposure, asbestos fibers get stuck in air passages. Smoking damages the respiratory system and makes it harder for the body to fight infection. Moreover, it can’t prevent tumors. Consequently, toxins remain in cells causing DNA changes and, eventually, cancer. Thus, cancer-causing chemicals in smoke work jointly with asbestos to damage organs and tissues.
In general, studies show that smoking increases the risk of cancer among asbestos-exposed workers. Unfortunately, rates of tobacco use are much higher among many jobs associated with asbestos risk. Shipyard and construction workers, automotive mechanics, and military veterans have high percentages of heavy smokers.
Workers who smoke have 92 times the risk of lung cancers and mesotheliomas compared to those who didn’t work with asbestos nor smoked.
Can Smoking Cause Mesothelioma?
In the past, many of the people diagnosed with mesothelioma also smoked cigarettes. Moreover, cigarettes have over 700 chemicals. This could lead many people to believe that smoking causes mesothelioma.
However, there are no studies definitively linking tobacco products and/or smoke to mesotheliomas. Instead, the habit is another, added risk factor in developing some cancers. For mesothelioma, the primary risk factor is solely asbestos exposure.
Think you’ve worked or lived somewhere with high asbestos risk? Request a case evaluation to assess your chances for exposure.
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In most cases, legal compensation is available for those diagnosed with a type of mesothelioma. Retired workers or their families may file against the company or companies responsible for manufacturing hazardous products or putting employees at risk of handling them unprotected.
If you smoked or are smoking and developed an asbestos-caused cancer, you are still eligible for compensation. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can help you file your claim(s).