For years, smokers have been told to quit and the lungs may repair themselves. An international study of nearly 28,000 people, the largest of its kind, finds now that although it helps to quit particularly by decreasing the risk of heart disease, heavy smokers who kick the habit can still end up with lung cancer down the road.
Cancer can actually be predicted based on how much was smoked and how many years have passed. The study was presented on Tuesday in Chicago at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society.
The bottom line is that any type of smoking for any amount of time increases the risk of lung cancer. It just takes time for the risk to build.