Smoking—cigarettes, cigars, pipes—increases your risk of developing cancer. That’s not news. But if you’ve ever smoked, you know that it can be hard to quit. Raising awareness of smoking as a risk factor and providing support to those ready to quit is the focus of Kick Butts Day. March 20, 2019 is National Kick Butts Day.
You are at risk even if YOU don’t smoke. Research has confirmed that exposure to secondhand smoke—mostly during the adult years—increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer. This increased risk, however, doesn’t mount up overnight; it typically starts to rise later in life. This means that your college friends, maybe even your first husband who smoked, may be causing you grief a decade or more from now. The length of exposure and cumulative exposure levels over time appear to be the key.
The risk to women who’ve been exposed to moderate-to-high levels of secondhand smoke has been linked to the amounts and length of exposure time. So, if you’ve been exposed to the cigarette smoke of others in the past or are now in danger at work, at home, or in social settings, please remember that secondhand smoke is now linked with breast cancer.
And right now is the time to tell your family, friends, and coworkers that you are implementing a new personal breast-health policy: No more smoking around you. And while you’re at it…remind them that now is a great time to kick their butt habit.
(Lillie D. Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S.)