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A 35-year-old member asked:

If you stop smoking, can that confuse cell growth and go into overdrive causing cancerous cells to grow?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Susan Woods
Internal Medicine 37 years experience
Not likely: Quitting smoking is one of the healthiest things you can do, and lowers your risk of cancer. Tobacco has 50 (fifty!) known carcinogens, plus carbon monoxide. So there's no safe level. But, some cells that grow and work better when you stop, such as the lining of your windpipe (cilia). In very rare cases, cancer is found after quitting, but it probably was there earlier, or, due to secondhand smoke.
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Last updated Mar 16, 2014


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