Smoking

Smoking and breast cancer risk

Women who smoke for many years may have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer [500,504,533-540]. Women who are current smokers and have been smoking for more than 10 years appear to have about a 10 percent higher risk of breast cancer than women who’ve never smoked [504,535,538].

Women who are current smokers but have smoked for less than 10 years don’t appear to have an increased risk of breast cancer [500,536,538-542].

Whether the risk of breast cancer is increased in past smokers is under study.

Learn about smoking and breast cancer survival.

quote_icon

Komen Perspectives

Read our perspective on smoking and breast cancer risk.*

Learn More

Smoking and health

Although smoking may only be linked to a slight increase in breast cancer risk, stopping smoking, or never starting to smoke, is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Smoking is related to an increased risk of many cancers and other health conditions, including [543]:

Cancers

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Larynx cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Throat and mouth cancers

Other health conditions

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

For a summary of research studies on smoking and breast cancer risk, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.

Smoking and breast cancer survival

A large pooled analysis of data from about 10,000 women who had been treated for breast cancer found those who smoked had an increased the risk of [544]:

  • Breast cancer-specific mortality (death from breast cancer)
  • Overall mortality (death from any cause, not necessarily breast cancer)

The more women smoked, the higher these risks [544].

The American Cancer Society recommends anyone who smokes, including people treated for cancer and their caregivers, quit smoking [545].

Learn more about smoking and other behaviors that impact breast cancer survival.

For a summary of research studies on smoking and breast cancer survival, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.

*Please note, the information provided within Komen Perspectives articles is only current as of the date of posting. Therefore, some information may be out of date.

Updated 02/28/21