Background: Although East Asia is one of the largest tobacco-epidemic regions in the world, only a few prospective studies from Asia have investigated the impact of smoking and cessation of smoking on cancer. We aimed to assess the effect of cessation of smoking on the risk of cancer using eight population-based cohort studies in Japan.
Methods: We analyzed pooled data from eight population-based prospective cohort studies in Japan with more than 320,000 participants to assess the effect of smoking cessation on the risk of total cancers and smoking-related cancers.
Results: After adjustment for potential confounders, cancer risks in men with >21years of smoking cessation before baseline were found to decrease to the same level as never smokers for total cancer (never smokers: reference; former smokers with ≥21 years since smoking cessation: HR, 1.01; 95%CI: 0.91, 1.11). Even men who are heavy smokers (more than 20 pack-years) reported a reduced risk of total cancer (never smokers: reference; former smokers with ≥21 years since smoking cessation: HR, 1.06; 95%CI: 0.92, 1.23). In women, the risk of total cancer did not differ from that of never smokers after 11 years of smoking cessation before baseline (never smokers: reference; former smokers with ≥11 years since smoking cessation: HR, 0.96; 95%CI: 0.74, 1.23).
Conclusions: Our study suggests that longer duration of smoking cessation may attenuate the risk of cancer in both men and women, and that even heavy smokers (more than 20 pack-years) were found to benefit from quitting smoking.
Keywords: Cohort study; Japanese; Pooled analysis; Smoking cessation; Tobacco-related cancer.
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