Lung Cancer Study Group

Campaign “The only safe way to smoke … is not to smoke!” launched on World No Tobacco Day

Tobacco is the main risk factor for lung cancer. Between 85% to 90% of new cases are detected in smokers. Only with a reduction in the population’s smoking habits can a reduction in lung cancer cases be achieved. On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, the Lung Cancer Study Group (GECP) launched a Campaign reminding that new forms of tobacco (among which heated tobacco and electronic cigarettes stand out), have growing popularity and acceptance among the younger ones do not eliminate the risk and maintain many of the harmful effects of traditional tobacco, according to available scientific evidence.

“With the current undeniable knowledge about the harmful effects of smoking, new alternatives have emerged that have been gaining popularity. They come in various shapes, sizes and with multiple flavors, and it has been claimed that they are safer and even innocuous”, explains Daniel Coutinho, Pulmonologist at the Hospital Center of Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho and member of the GECP. “However, these products contain chemicals and toxins (carcinogenic) with proven harm to health”, says the expert, noting that “the true dimension of their effects will only be known in many years, as happened with cigarettes, once that the effects accumulate in the body over the years and only later translate into diseases”, thus paralleling what happened with traditional tobacco.

For this reason, with regard to the aforementioned event, the GECP launched the alert through its social networks, especially aimed at younger groups, under the motto “The only safe way to smoke… is not to smoke”, placing emphasis on willpower and conscious decision, far from the illusions that these new products seek to create in their consumers. “Don’t let colors and flavors turn into tumors” is one of the most striking phrases of the awareness campaign consisting of digital posters, to alert young people to the risks of these new products.

“The new forms of tobacco continue to be very harmful and highly addictive”, concluded the expert, adding that “smokers should speak with their doctor to clarify any doubts and seek specialized help in the process of smoking cessation”.

The awareness campaign was supported by: Astrazeneca, Bristol Myers-Squibb, MSD, Roche and Takeda.

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