Smoking is biggest risk factor for lung cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Singapore (Asian lung cancer tumours may be tougher to treat: Study; Feb 14).

The Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) has a vested interest in the prevention of lung cancer, particularly, in the elimination of tobacco use.

The risk of lung cancer developing in a smoker is 15 to 25 times more than for a non-smoker.

Specifically, smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer, which is the third most commonly occurring cancer in Singapore (after colorectal and breast cancers).

Survival rates for lung cancer are low as cases are usually detected in the late stages. The best safeguard against lung cancer is to never smoke or be exposed to cigarette smoke. To smokers, our message is to stop smoking now.

We applaud the Government's total ban on e-cigarette, but hope that users will not return to regular smoking.

SCS has been engaging members of the public through public education and outreach efforts to promote a smoke-free life.

Our lung cancer and anti-smoking awareness campaigns target neighbourhood youth and communities to promote a smoke-free environment.

This is consistent with our goal to "Minimise Cancer, Maximise Life" by directly eliminating a major source of carcinogens from our lives.

According to the World Health Organisation Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008, persons who do not start smoking before age 21 are unlikely to ever begin.

Thus, SCS wants to educate youthfrom an early age in the hope that this will decrease the chances of them lighting up in the future.

Albert Ching

Chief Executive Officer

Singapore Cancer Society

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