how do cigarettes and radiation cause cancer

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How can Cigarettes, Tobacco, and RadiationAffect Your Health? Polonium-210 and lead-210 accumulate for decades in the lungs of smokers. Sticky tar in the tobaccobuilds up in the small air passageways in the lungs (bronchioles) and radioactivesubstances get trapped. Over time, these substances can lead to lung cancer.

People also ask


  • Why do cigarettes cause cancer?

  • Toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke are the main reason cigarettes cause cancer, but radiation also may play a part. Tobacco farmers use fertilizer to help their crops grow.

  • What happens if you smoke a radioactive cigarette?

  • Learn the radiation basics. Cigarettes made from this tobacco still contain these radioactive elements. The radioactive particles settle in smokers鈥?lungs, where they build up as long as the person smokes. Over time, the radiation can damage the lungs and can contribute to lung cancer.

  • How does smoking affect the risk of lung cancer?

  • CDC studies show that smoking causes 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women and 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men. For more information about the increased health risks of smoking, see CDC鈥檚 Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking. Radiation in Tobacco, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)external icon.

  • How does radiation cause cancer?

  • Toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke are the main reason cigarettes cause cancer, but radiation also may play a part. Tobacco farmers use fertilizer to help their crops grow. These fertilizers contain a naturally-occurring radionuclide, radium. Radium radioactively decays to release radon gas, which then rises from the soil around the plants.

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