Vol 17, No 3 (2021)
Review paper
Published online: 2021-06-10

open access

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Risk factors and primary prevention of lung cancer. Cessation of cigarette addiction

Paweł Krawczyk1, Rodryg Ramlau2, Justyna Błach13, Robert Kieszko1, Kazimierz Roszkowski-Ślisz4, Tomasz Kucharczyk1, Stanisław Kieszko5, Janusz Milanowski1
Oncol Clin Pract 2021;17(3):112-124.


Despite the huge knowledge about the risk factors associated with lung cancer, this disease remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in highly developed countries. The reason for this phenomenon is the increasing pollution of the natural environment and, above all, the difficulties in eliminating the addiction to smoking. In large Polish urban agglomerations, the exposure to particulate matter containing hydrocarbons on its surface, to free hydrocarbons, nitrogen and sulphur oxides is constantly increasing. Moreover, almost 25% of the Polish population smoke cigarettes and the elimination of smoking addiction through psychotherapy, nicotine replacement therapy and pharmacotherapy are sometimes ineffective. This article presents that the use of tobacco-burning products other than cigarettes (e.g., cigars or pipes) and products containing marijuana are as dangerous to health as classical cigarettes. Other nicotine-containing products have also appeared: e-cigarettes and tobacco heating systems. These products are highly addictive to nicotine, but the aerosols, that are produced by them, contain fewer toxic substances than cigarette smoke. Therefore, there are reasons to use these products instead of traditional cigarettes in people who are highly addicted to nicotine (after exhaustion of other treatment options) to reduce health risks, including lung cancer risk. However, it must be evoked that only a complete smoking cessation and the use of nicotine-containing products could be effective in reducing the risk of lung cancer.

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